What do we know about the people who lived in the Qumran community? Did they leave anything else in the caves? Because of the area’s unusual climate, many other artifacts were also preserved. They give us a rare glimpse into life 2,000 years ago.

Phylactery cases, which held minute prayers, were worn on a person’s arm. Several phylactery cases from the last century B.C. to the first century A.D. were found in the Qumran caves. A limestone inkwell from the late first century B.C. is not dissimilar to inkwells of more modern times.

A Herodian lamp, made of pottery with a fiber wick, is in remarkably good shape. Fragments of baskets, made from palm leaves, have also survived. So have wooden objects like combs and bowls made from "acacia tortilis," commonly found in Israel’s southern valleys. If the Dead Sea climate were not so arid, wooden objects like these would not have survived.

What did Jewish women use for cooking and eating utensils? Measuring cups and goblets were made of limestone. Cooking pots, plates and stacked goblets were made of wood. Even pieces of rope and cord were found among the remarkable treasures hidden for thousands of years in the arid Judean desert.

People who live in the desert often wear sandals. That was also true 2,000 years ago as evidenced by sandals found in the Qumran caves. Thanks to the Israel Antiquities Authority, many of these fascinating items (including the scrolls) have been seen by people throughout the world. Thanks to the Library of Congress, they can be viewed on-line.

But who is viewing the scrolls from a scholarship standpoint? That has been a matter of considerable debate during the half century since their discovery.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5155stories and lessons created

Original Release: May 01, 2004

Updated Last Revision: Apr 16, 2014

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"THE PEOPLE OF THE SCROLLS" AwesomeStories.com. May 01, 2004. Sep 20, 2018.
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