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The Dead Sea Scrolls

The Dead Sea Scrolls are a group of documents, mainly on papyrus, written by a Jewish sect, the Essenes, between the 2nd century BC and the 1st century AD. They have survived because they were hidden by the sect in caves near the Dead Sea in about AD 68, when the Romans were advancing to destroy Jerusalem.

The scrolls (now kept in a specially built museum in Jerusalem) include some of the earliest known manuscripts of the Bible. They also throw much light on the history of the Essenes.


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