Both photos by Bruce and Kenneth Zuckerman, West Semitic Research in collaboration with Princeton Theological Seminary/Photoedit
A guide to treasure? A unique Dead Sea Scroll in almost every way—material, script, language and content—the Copper Scroll, when found in 1952, consisted of two rolled strips of unusually pure copper that originally formed one scroll about 8 feet long and 11 inches wide. Too brittle to unroll, the scroll was sawed into strips like the one shown here. The text, written in a Hebrew dialect with often-peculiar spelling, is a list of 64 hiding places for portions of a treasure, mostly of silver and gold, estimated to total between 58 and 174 tons. Although some scholars believe the treasure is imaginary, others believe that the scroll was intended as a real guide to buried treasure. Author McCarter proposes that the scroll is a guide to hidden caches from the Temple treasury, consisting of tithes and contributions, secreted before the Roman destruction of the Temple in 70 C.E. Today the Copper Scroll is displayed in a case in the Jordanian Archaeological Museum in Amman, Jordan (inset). Each strip retains the curve of the formerly intact, rolled scroll.