Second-century artifacts found near Qumran
November 19th, 2002
A cave survey in Israel's Judean Desert has found papyrus scrolls,
coins and arrow heads from the time of the Jewish rebellion against the Romans
in the second century, archaeologists said.
The scrolls, while believed to be less significant than the Dead Sea
Scrolls found in the region in 1947, will shed light on the time of the
revolt led by Simon Bar Kochba, said Zvika Tzuk, an archaeologist for
the National Parks Authority.
The artifacts were found in the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve, near the Dead Sea, by a team of archaeologists headed by Professor Hanan Eshel from
Bar Ilan University and Amos Frumkin of Jerusalem's Hebrew University.
Historians believe the rebels fled to the desert after the Romans crushed the revolt, hiding out in hillside caves dotted throughout the
Rappelling into a cave, archaeologists found the papyrus scrolls as well
as coins bearing the name "Shimon," a reference to Bar Kochba,
leader of a 132-135 rebellion, the parks authority said.
Archaeologists also found a dozen wooden arrows and metal arrowheads, and scraps of cloth.
The scrolls, as yet unopened, have been given to the Israel Museum, where they will be researched.
Between 1947-65, archaeologists discovered hundreds of ancient Jewish documents at Qumran, the area where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found.
Decades later, archaeologists believed all the scrolls in the area had been found until the discovery of a number of documents near Jericho
"After two generations where we didn't discover anything, this find
is very important," Tzuk said.