Yohanan Aharoni was the first excavator to explore the Cave of Letters. In 1953, following the appearance of Hebrew manuscripts on the antiquities market, Aharoni led a team to the cave, only to find that Bedouin had preceded him. The Bedouin, however, did not bother to loot pottery sherds; from these Aharoni was able to identify first- and second-century C.E. periods of occupation in the cave. Working under Aharoni was a young kibbutznik named Baruch Safrai, who made the team’s most memorable discovery: a skeleton clad in a tunic and rope belt.