Qumran National Park

The Qumran site was discovered in 1946 by a bedouin boy, who went to find a lost goat, but instead found a cave in which clay pots were hidden. In these pots, a treasure of manuscripts was discovered. This discovery led to the discovery of over 700 additional manuscripts in this area.

The first person to realize the importance of these scrolls was professor Eleazar Liffa Sukenik of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, who bought three of the original seven scrolls. The rest of the scrolls were smuggled to the US by a christian priest, and were then bought in 1954 by Sukenik's son, Yigal Yadin, and returned to Israel.

The site near the 'Dead Sea Scrolls Cave', called 'Hirbat Qumran', was excavated during the years 1952-1956. In these excavations, remains of an ancient settlement were found, where a mysterious sect used to live, starting from the 2nd century BC, and until the year of 68 AD, when the place was taken by the Romans, and destroyed. The sect was an extreme section of the Isiim sect. The leaders of this settlement were Priests from the family of the Zadokites, descendants of the high priest Zadok, who served during the days of King David and King Solomon. Some even believe St. John the Baptist may have lived here a short time before his ministry of preaching and baptizing!

Come and visit this unique place, near the lowest point on earth, and get a glance at how these people used to live. The best time to visit is in the spring or in the fall.