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posted by janrinok on Wednesday July 22 2015, @05:04PM   Printer-friendly
from the I've-already-read-it-in-paperback dept.

A scroll that had been burnt to charcoal inside the Ein Gedi synagogue some 1,500 years ago has now been read for the first time, thanks to modern technology.

Ein Gedi is an oasis located on the western shore of the Dead Sea, where fresh water flows from underground year-round. Over the millennia, it has been home to various human settlements, including a Jewish village with a synagogue erected in the third century.

One of the additions to the synagogue, made in the fourth century, was a niche in the northern wall, which housed an ark, a receptacle to contain the synagogue's scrolls of Torah. The Torah is comprised of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy -- the first five books of the Bible.

An archaeological expedition to the Ein Gedi synagogue uncovered the ancient scroll in 1970 -- the oldest scroll discovered since the Dead Sea Scrolls were found between 1946 and 1956. The Dead Sea Scrolls, dating from between around 408 BC to 308 AD, however, were in good condition.

The Ein Gedi scroll -- carbon dated to the sixth century -- was not. It was burned and blackened into charcoal -- unable to be unrolled and deciphered.


"This discovery absolutely astonished us: We were certain it was just a shot in the dark but decided to try and scan the burnt scroll anyway," curator and director of the Israel Antiquities Authority's Dead Sea Scrolls projects Pnina Shor said. "Now, not only can we bequeath the Dead Sea Scrolls to future generations, but also a part of the Bible from a Holy Ark of a 1,500-year old synagogue!"

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  • (Score: 2) by wonkey_monkey on Wednesday July 22 2015, @11:15PM

    by wonkey_monkey (279) on Wednesday July 22 2015, @11:15PM (#212515) Homepage

    I don't know, does there? What does SoylentNews get out of it if I go and read the article? If all the pertinent Soylent-y info from an article can be condensed into a nice, concise summary, isn't that okay?

    In any case, if there should be some motivation to read further, it shouldn't be that the summary didn't provide (as in this case) any of the technical details, which is what most Soylentils would, I think, be hoping for.

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  • (Score: 5, Informative) by Phoenix666 on Thursday July 23 2015, @01:03AM

    by Phoenix666 (552) on Thursday July 23 2015, @01:03AM (#212530) Journal

    Because others have complained in the past that submitters have put words in the mouth of the article or have somehow inaccurately or inappropriately abridged the content. So I try to pick representative paragraphs and maybe throw a conversation starter in at the end. If you have a better way to do it please jump in and fill the queue every morning for a week to show the rest of us what a standard acceptable to you would look like.

    Washington DC delenda est.