Werner Braun

Ruins of … what? Archaeologist-priest Roland de Vaux identified the site at Qumran, seen in this aerial photo, as an isolated religious community similar to a monastery. He also believed its inhabitants were responsible for the Dead Sea Scrolls found in nearby caves, some of which appear as dark shadows on the vertical face of the furrowed ridge at upper center. De Vaux died in 1971 without publishing the final report on the excavations he conducted between 1953 and 1956. In recent years, two dissenting views interpret the site as a winter villa for Jerusalem aristocrats, or as a military outpost—in either case, unrelated to the Dead Sea Scrolls.