No texts have been found, but clues found in two caves suggest that further digging will yield a surprise.
The discovery of the so-called Dead Sea Scrolls in the 1940s and 50s provided a major treasure trove for biblical scholarship. Now, archaeologists in Israel think there may be more to be discovered.
Archaeologists believe a pair of recently discovered caves at Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found, may contain additional religious texts from thousands of years ago.
“Archaeologists have discovered a number of objects indicating scrolls were stored there, among them jars, wrappings, and possible scroll fragments,” the Times of Israel reported.
Randall Price, a professor of divinity at Liberty University, along with Oren Gutfeld of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, are part of a team that discovered Cave 53. Although no scrolls were found there, researchers found a blank piece of parchment and storage jars identical to those discovered in other caves at Qumran.
Researchers found a fragment of a scroll jar, providing evidence that scrolls were once stored in the cave. Excavations are underway to determine if the cave still holds any scrolls, according to Live Science.
In nearby Cave 53b, the scientists came across a bronze cooking pot dating to the 1st century BC and a nearly intact oil lamp from the Hellenistic-Hasmonean period.
Archaeologists found “large amounts of pottery representing store jars, flasks, cups and cooking pots, and fragments of woven textiles, braided ropes and string,” Price said.