Israel Museum, Jerusalem/The Shrine of The Book

Corresponding points of damage, as indicated by the arrows, mark each full rotation of the scroll known as 11Q Psalmsa. The distance from one point to the next increases as one moves from an inner layer to an outer layer of a scroll. In this example, the spacing grows from left to right by about 14 hundredths of an inch with each rotation of the scroll. This example was therefore rolled-up from left to right, a conclusion confirmed by our knowledge that we are viewing the scroll’s last column and its blank “handle sheet,”; or last sheet. Even if this scroll were in fragments, however, the distances between corresponding points of damage in the fragments would help to determine the fragments’ positions in the original scroll.

A worm ate the hole that constitutes the upper row of damage.