AP. After 70 years of the discovery of the oldest biblical manuscripts in the world, the Palestinian family that originally sold them to institutions for study, is now quietly marketing them.
Most of the remains have barely the dimensions of a postage stamp and some of them are blank. Despite this, in recent years Christian collectors and institutions have been offering huge amounts of money to own a piece of this archaeological treasure. The Government of Israel Antiquities Authority has shown its anger at these events, since it considers that each of the fragments should be considered as a cultural asset and not as a mere object offered for sale, and threatens to confiscate any of them that reach the market.
The family offered the fragments to the Israel Antiquities Authority but according to them they could not pay them, so now it is said that if an interested party appears they will be sold.
The world of Holy Land it is full of robberies and deceptions, of which the Dead Sea Scrolls have to be an exception. Its discovery was made in 1947 in the dead sea caves east of Jerusalem becoming one of the most important events of the 20th century. While the governments of Jordan and Palestine debate over their ownership claims, the meaning of these documents remains controversial in academic debate.
Written in scrolls Made from animal skin about 2,000 years ago, these manuscripts are the oldest found in the Hebrew Bible and constitute the oldest proof of the birth of Judaism and Christianity.
The scrolls were well protected in the caves, but with the passage of time most of it disintegrated in very small fragments.
Israel refers to the scrolls as a national treasure and conducts research in its climate-controlled laboratories at the Israel Museum. The remains found are so numerous that the investigation team has not yet managed to finish counting them all. Israel has been criticized for controlling access by experts but has partnered with Google to upload images of the parchment online.
The history of the discovery of these scrolls It begins when a Bedouin shepherd threw a stone into a dark cave, hearing something break, he went inside finding clay pots and rolled scrolls.
Total seven were found, three of which were sold to an antiques dealer belonging to the Hebrew University and four to the father of Willian Kando, a Christian shoemaker in Bethlehem who in turn sold them to an archbishop of the Assyrian Orthodox Church.
After the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, fell into the hands of war hero Yigael Yadin and later one of the most eminent archaeologists in Israel.
During the following decade archaeologists moved to the caves finding thousands more fragments and they began to put them together like a puzzle at the Rockefeller Archaeological Museum in Jerusalem.
In 1993 they began research the manuscripts they were in the hands of Israel and it became the perfect time to trade with them. A Norwegian businessman, Martin Schoyen, bought his first fragment a year later, eventually collecting around 115 fragments.
In 2009 Asuza Pacifico University near Los Angeles bought five shards. Between 2009 and 2011 the Theological Seminary in Texas negotiated with Kandoo for the acquisition of eight fragments.
The remains have been passed from one hand to another without exhaustive control, which will make it difficult for both Israel and Jordan to acquire them, who have already been conducting investigations in recent years to find them and keep them under their control.
Many cave entrances are covered by vegetation and rockfalls, so many of the remains are probably inside waiting to be discovered.
I was born in Madrid on August 27, 1988 and since then I started a work of which there is no example. Fascinated by both numbers and letters and a lover of the unknown, that is why I am a future graduate in Economics and Journalism, interested in understanding life and the forces that have shaped it. Everything is easier, more useful and more exciting if, with a look at our past, we can improve our future and for that… History.