Biblical Archaeology Review 1:4, December 1975

How the Dead Sea Scrolls Were Found

By Harry Thomas Frank

The most sensational archaeological discovery of the last half century was made entirely by accident. On a morning in the winter of 1946–1947 three shepherds of the Ta’amireh tribe of Bedouin watched their nimble-footed goats skip across the cliffs just north of an old ruin on the northwest shore of the Dead Sea The ruin, known as the City of Salt is mentioned in the Old Testament (Joshua 15:62), and from time to time archaeologists had shown interest. But from the middle of the nineteenth century, when they first worked in the area, until those days in winter, they had said that there was not much at that desolate site. Possibly it was a minor Roman fort. Perhaps, some of the more fanciful said, it was even Gomorrah!

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