Science: Hideouts in the Wadi

Tradition is that when young David incurred the wrath of King Saul, he fled to the Wilderness of Judah, a forbidding desert badland just west of the Dead Sea. Later rebels lived for years among its dry stream beds and limestone cliffs, hiding their sacred writings in inaccessible caves. In 1947, a Bedouin shepherd boy crawled into one such cave, found the first of these writings: the famous Dead Sea Scrolls. Since then, Israeli archaeologists have watched in alarm as Bedouins haphazardly ransacked the caves for more fragments of parchment and papyrus, often sneaking across the Jordan border to rifle...

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