Garo Nalbandian

Within caves at Qumran, such as this one, near the northwest shore of the Dead Sea, the Essenes secreted their manuscripts now known as the Dead Sea Scrolls. On a barren plateau near the caves, they built their community.

The Temple Scroll, however, was not found with the principal Essene library in Cave 4. Moreover, none of the specifically Essene documents ever quotes from the Temple Scroll, and some of the Scroll’s contents differ from the known religious laws of the Essene community, important indications that the Temple Scroll was not a book of legal authority for the Essenes.

Archaeologists dug the small trench in the foreground while searching for scroll fragments.