Biblical text older than the Dead Sea Scrolls has been discovered only in two silver scroll-shaped amulets containing portions of the Priestly Blessing from the Book of Numbers, excavated in Jerusalem at Ketef Hinnom and dated c. A piece of Leviticus found in the Ein Gedi synagogue, burnt in the 6th century CE and analyzed in 2015, was found to be the third-oldest piece of the Torah known to exist, as it was dated palaeographically to the 1st or 2nd century CE, and with the C14 method to sometime between the 2nd and 4th century CE.
The scrolls have traditionally been identified with the ancient Jewish sect called the Essenes, although some recent interpretations have challenged this association and argue that the scrolls were written by priests in Jerusalem, Zadokites, or other unknown Jewish groups.
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The column headed "14C Age" provides a raw age before 1950 for each sample tested.
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The initial discovery, by Bedouin shepherd Muhammed edh-Dhib, his cousin Jum'a Muhammed, and Khalil Musa, took place between November 1946 and February 1947.
The shepherds discovered seven scrolls (See Scrolls and fragments) housed in jars in a cave near what is now known as the Qumran site. Trever reconstructed the story of the scrolls from several interviews with the Bedouin.