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Qumrân: the Dead Sea scrolls disclose some of their secrets


from April 13, 2010 to July 11, 2010 François-Mitterrand / Large gallery

In 1947, a bedouin shepherd, Mohammed, known as « The Wolf », came across seven parchment scrolls written in Hebrew, in a cave at Qumrân, beside the Dead Sea. So began the most important and unbelievable archaeological adventure of the 20th century.
From 1947 until 1956, a real competition began between the bedouins and the archaeologists. Both camps discovered eleven caves in total, many intact Bible texts and several thousand fragments dating over two thousand years. Other ancient documents from the same period were found that revealed the existence of an unknown sect. Very strict purity rules were observed by male members. They spent their time waiting for the Messiah and preparing to fight: at the end of time, guided by the Teacher of Righteousness, they would overcome iniquity once and for all.

Scientists keep trying to answer the questions connected to this amazing discovery. Who were the people living in Qumrân? Did manuscripts belong to them? Why were manuscripts available to a restricted number of people?
The discovery was also a topic of major interest for the general public: why did it take so long to disclose the texts? Do they unveil so far unknown episodes in John The Baptist’s life or in Jesus’? Why do they still give rise to passionate debates?
Highlight on the discovery and half a century of research which allowed and still allows to extend our knowledge about the origin of the Bible.

With the support of

Logo de la fondation Edf Diversiterre

Thursday, February 18, 2010