Archeologists have deciphered one of the last parts of the the Dead Sea Scrolls, unlocking one of its final mysteries.
Researchers have deciphered one of the two remaining unpublished Dead Sea Scrolls, laying eyes on an ancient, secret code inscribed on parchment more than 2,000 years ago.
It wasn’t easy to do. Over the course of a year, scholars had to painstakingly reassemble over 60 tiny fragments of text, frayed into tatters over millennia.
To make things even harder, what was written on them wasn’t intended for just anyone to read – and had been encrypted in a long-forgotten cipher.
“The scroll is written in code, but its actual content is simple and well-known, and there was no reason to conceal it,” the researchers, Eshbal Ratson and Jonathan Ben-Dov from the University of Haifa in Israel, explain.
“This practice is also found in many places outside the Land of Israel, where leaders write in secret code even when discussing universally known matters, as a reflection of their status.”dead sea scroll