Scientists of the University of Haifa in Israel have deciphered one of the last found parts of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the so-called Qumran manuscripts. As the BBC writes, scientists collected a scroll of 60 fragments for a year, the size of some of them was less than one square centimeter.
The exact author of the manuscripts is unknown, but scientists suggest that the authors could be members of the Essen sect, who lived in the Judean Desert.
From the scroll, scientists were able to learn more about the calendar that the sect used, as well as the name of the days that marked the boundaries between the seasons. In addition, in the manuscripts, the handwriting of the second manuscript was found, which supposedly corrected errors for the author and made explanations.
Since 1947, 900 fragments, made by an ancient Jewish sect, have been found. The first texts were found in the caves of Qumran on the coast of the Dead Sea.
The finds date from at least IV century BC. e. The manuscripts were written mostly on parchment and papyrus in Hebrew and Aramaic. These scrolls are called the oldest surviving copy of the Bible, since a significant portion of the manuscripts are borrowed from the biblical texts. Moreover, in manuscripts you can find records about everyday life. For example, about the holidays of members of the sect who lived on the 364-day calendar. They had festivals of flour, wine and oil, which can be correlated with the Jewish holiday of Shavuot.
Researchers came to the conclusion that the sect used a special word to refer to the transition between the seasons – flowing. In modern Hebrew this word means “period”. To decode the records, scientists used notes on the margins, which the second manuscript made on the site of the author’s passes.