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Cairo Genizah paper may hold key to secrets of Qumran, Dead Sea Scrolls

Updated: Nov 14, 2021

A mystical religious ceremony described in several Dead Sea Scrolls and in a medieval document from the Cairo Genizah holds the key to understanding the mysteries of the archaeological site of Qumran, new research suggests.

The nature and distinctive characteristics of Qumran, the nearest site to the caves where the legendary 2,000-year-old documents were found, have been debated by scholars for decades. It was thought to be a settlement where the Jewish sect of the Essenes lived; some proposed that its residents were not Essenes but a different community; others said it was wrong to attribute the area to a specific group; while according to some experts, Qumran might have been a fortress.

No matter the interpretation, some puzzling elements remain, according to Dr. Daniel Vainstub of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, who authored a study recently published in the peer-reviewed, open-access academic journal Religions.

From an article in the Jerusalem Post

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