Israel Government Press Office

Israeli soldiers capture the Rockefeller Museum in the battle for Jerusalem during the Six-Day War in June 1967. During the height of the fighting, Biran, Joseph Aviram and archaeologist Nahman Avigad approached the military commander and asked for permission to enter the museum to secure its holdings. Biran saw to it that an exhibit of gold jewelry on display at the time was locked away. He also secured the inscriptions from Deir Alla, a site in Jordan, and later returned them to the Dutch team that was deciphering them; today the inscriptions are in Amman, Jordan. But the most famous prize at the Rockefeller was the collection of Dead Sea Scrolls. Together with Yigael Yadin, Biran made the controversial decision to leave the publication rights with the team that had been appointed under Jordanian auspices. That team later came under withering criticism for its glacially slow pace of publication.