Qumran National Park

September 13th 2010

The ancient settlement of Qumran is known as the spot where the Dead Sea Scrolls, the oldest biblical books to be unearthed, were found in 1947. Qumran was built in 150 BCE; it was destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE, yet to this day, much of the stonework has remained intact, thus revealing a wealth of information about the ancient Jews who lived here. The Jews, who were known as Essenes, built their home in and around a cave that overlooks the Dead Sea. Remnants of a dining hall and ritual bath (among other ruins) hint towards the purity of life sought out by the Essenes. (You can view the Dead Sea Scrolls at the Israel Museum’s Shrine of the Book in Jerusalem.)