The Dead Sea Scrolls continue to remain the subject of an intense academic debate concerning their interpretation, their authors, and whether there is a connection between the caves in which these documents were discovered and the archaeological site of Khirbet Qumran. The answers to these questions are important because of the unprecedented number of fragmentary documents in this collection and their diverse contents. Because Roland de Vaux found the same types of pottery in the Scroll caves that he uncovered inside Khirbet Qumran, most scholars view the Scrolls as archaeological objects that are associated with this settlement. Khirbet Qumran’s architectural design, moreover, provides additional evidence that the Scrolls and this site are connected. Scroll Caves 7, 8, and 9 are inside the enclosure wall that surrounds Khirbet Qumran and are accessible only after passing through one of the site’s entrances.4 Nevertheless, the location of these three caves does not necessarily tell us much about the relationship between the Scroll Caves, the Scrolls, and Khirbet Qumran, but merely shows that some caves containing Scrolls were found within the site’s walls. This study explores the question of whether the Dead Sea Scrolls are from Khirbet Qumran by focusing on the content and classification of these texts, what these writings tell us about the period before the construction of the site, and what the historical contents in these documents reveals about the origin of many of these works.
Department of History
Original Publication Date
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Atkinson, Kenneth, "Are the Dead Sea Scrolls From Khirbet Qumran?" (2021). Faculty Publications. 5531.