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Israel displays fragments of newly discovered biblical scrolls

Jerusalem, Mar 16 (efe-epa).- Israel on Tuesday displayed fragments of a thousands-year-old biblical scroll discovered in a cave in the Judean Desert, the first to be found in archeological excavations since the Dead Sea Scrolls.

The scroll, written in ancient Greek and containing portions of the Book of the Twelve Minor Prophets, including the books of Zechariah and Nahum, was discovered by the Israel Antiquities Authority.

It is 60 years after the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls between 1947 and 1956, which include around 900 two millennia-old documents of a great historical value, featuring fragments of the Old Testament.

The latest scroll fragments were discovered in the Nahal Hever nature reserve’s “Cave of Horror” located about 80 meters below the top of a steep cliff.

During the excavations, many pieces belonging to other historical periods have been found, including a 6,000-year-old skeleton, believed to be of a woman, covered with fabric and partly mummified.

The body was largely preserved by the cave’s climate, “including the skin, tendons and hair,” and underwent “a natural mummification process,” Ronit Lupu, an expert on prehistory and a member of the AAI said.

In another cave, a 10,500-year-old basket made of vegetal materials was discovered. The basket, preserved thanks to the dry weather, could be “the oldest in the world,” IAA said.

With a capacity of between 90 and 100 liters, the basket provides new data on “how products were stored about 1,000 years before the invention of ceramics,” it added. EFE-EPA

  jma/ta/jt

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