Dozens of skeletons discovered in the Judean Desert may finally reveal who wrote the famous Dead Sea Scrolls, a mystery that scientists and historians have been trying to solve for more than 50 years. The scrolls contain fragments from nearly every part of the Old Testament.
The 33 human skeletons were found buried at Qumran, near the caves where the scrolls were originally discovered (they’re alternately known as the Qumran Caves Scrolls). The people they belonged to may have been alive when the texts were written and placed inside the caves; they could possibly be the authors themselves.
Researchers have already performed a radiocarbon analysis on one of the bones and estimate that it is about 2,200 years old, which lines up with the timeframe in which the scrolls are believed to have been written (roughly 150 B.C. to 70 A.D.).
The question of who wrote them is remained closely tied to the question of who exactly the Qumran inhabitants were. One theory—to which the skeletons might lend credence—is that Qumran was populated by a celibate Jewish sect called the Essenes, who either wrote the manuscript themselves or served as their custodians (the scrolls were written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek).
The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Dead Sea Scrolls: Ancient Skeletons Discovered in West Bank Cave May Solve 2,000-Year-Old Biblical Mystery