“Absolutely Astonishing Discovery”: Scientists Decode Text of Leviticus on 1,500-Year-Old Parchment

Nearly 45 years after a burned parchment was discovered during excavations on the western shore of the Dead Sea, researchers have identified it as part of the book of Leviticus from a 1,500-year-old Torah scroll.

“The historic discovery before us is fascinating and important,” said Culture Minister Miri Regev, who was at the press conference on Monday in which the Antiquities Authority revealed the discovery. “It is instructive about the Jewish people’s deep connection to its country and homeland.”

According to Haaretz, the piece of parchment from the sixth century AD was found in the ashes of an ancient synagogue at Ein Gedi, on the shores of the Dead Sea, in 1970. However, the scroll was so badly charred, scientists were unable to decipher any part of it.

Recently, researchers used a new, microcomputed tomography machine to scan the parchment, and were shocked to discover the first eight verses of Leviticus, the third book of the Hebrew Bible, inscribed on it . . .

“This discovery absolutely astonished us; we were certain it was just a shot in the dark but decided to try and scan the burnt scroll anyway,” said Pnina Shor, curator and director of the IAA’s Dead Sea Scrolls project, according to phys.org. (Read more from “Scientists Discover Text of Leviticus on 1,500-Year-Old Parchment” HERE)

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