The Caves at Qumran

At least 11 caves containing scroll material have been found in the area of Qumran. The caves shown here are the closest to the community and are labeled Caves 4 and 5, in the order that they were found.These caves probably contained the "library" of the community. The scrolls found here were not stored in jars, indicating a possible hasty exit by the Qumran community; they were also fragmented, possibly from the caves being plundered through the centuries. Scholars believe the fragments represent several hundred manuscripts.

The extremely dry climate of the region helped preserve the documents until they were found nearly 50 years ago.