Scientists are using DNA testing to try to connect the Dead Sea Scrolls

Scientists are using DNA testing to try to connect the Dead Sea Scrolls
Jeramiah Scroll (photo credit: SHAI HALEVI / ISRAEL ANTIQUITIES AUTHORITY)

Scientists began using DNA testing to connect the Scrolls to the Dead Sea (Kumran Writings), which contain various religious manuscripts, whereby they discovered that some parts were paired inappropriately.

The Bedouin Shepherd discovered part of the Kumran files in 1947, while in subsequent years many parts from 11 caves near Kumran, an ancient settlement on the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea, were found.

Since then, the Dead Sea Scrolls, which are mostly intact, have gone through many hands.

In total, there are 25,000 fragments of Kumran files, probably used by the Jewish sect Eseni.

According to Oded Rechavi of Tel Aviv University, the discovery of nearly 2,000-year-old files is one of the largest archaeological discoveries.

Kumran’s writings contain some of the oldest versions of biblical books.

Rechavi and his colleagues, including Noam Mizrahi of Tel Aviv University and Mattias Jakobsson of Sweden’s Uppsala University, published their findings in the US scientific journal Cell on Tuesday.

Rechavi told the DPA agency on Monday that their DNA analysis of samples of about 35 fragments confirms that some parts are indeed well arranged.

However, there are almost undoubtedly fragments, which were thought to be merged, written on the background of different animal origins (sheep and cow), suggesting that these fragments should not go together.