Daring ‘rescue’ mission results in Dead Sea Scroll finds, other rare discoveries
Biblical texts found during a multi-year Israeli expedition make headlines, but archaeologists are buzzing over an intact Stone-Age basket.
The first Dead Sea Scroll fragments found in more than a half-century, and what is possibly the world’s oldest intact basket, were among the discoveries made during a multi-year effort to thwart looting in remote caves across the Judean Desert, the Israeli Antiquities Authority (IAA) announced this week.
In many instances, archaeologists have had to rappel hundreds of feet down sheer cliff faces and dig through piles of bird and bat guano to uncover artifacts that may be the target of similarly equipped looters in the sparsely populated, arid region along the western shore of the Dead Sea.
“For years, we chased after antiquities looters. We finally decided to preempt the thieves before [artifacts] are removed from the ground and the caves,”