Biblical Archaeology Review 32:5, September/October 2006

Hyrcania’s Mysterious Tunnels

Searching for the Treasures of the Copper Scroll

By Oren Gutfeld

I was hardly in a position to say no. After all, in 1999 I was a mere graduate student. So when Professor Amihai Mazar, the head of the department of archaeology at the Hebrew University, asked me if I would talk to an American who wanted someone to undertake an excavation, I, of course, said I would be happy to see him. At the time, I was busy in one of the laboratories of the Institute of Archaeology studying a hoard of bronze artifacts that I had recently discovered in Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee. Into the laboratory walked this tall man with a determined look in his eyes. Dressed formally, he immediately spread open a map of the Judean Desert. He told me that he knew of a “very important” site in the region and wanted me to excavate it with him.

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