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Qumran caves

Perched on a cliff with a commanding view of the Dead Sea, Qumran is an archaeological site renowned for to the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The scrolls reflect a 2000-year-old sect called Yahad whose spiritual center was Qumran.

Qumran’s Unique Archaeology

A French team from Jerusalem conducted the initial excavations in Qumran in the 1950s. The finds included a unique scriptorium, dining hall, and many ritual baths. These findings suggest Qumran was home to a unique religious commune. Scholars believe that Qumran served as a center of the “Yahad” community, which may have been part of the Essene movement. This community focused on the study and transcription of religious texts and followed unique rituals. Hundreds of their scrolls, found between 1947 and 1956 in the nearby caves, are now stored in the Israel Museum. These scrolls contributed significantly to the understanding of ancient Judaism during the Second Temple, and the time of Jesus. Moreover, some scholars suggest that John the Baptist may have been a member of this community before settling next to the Jordan River.

Touring Qumran

Qumran is a national park that is open every day of the week, 8:00 to 17:00.

Its main point of interest are:

  • A renovated visitor center, which provides a detailed introduction to Qumran’s unique history.
  • Viewpoints to caves 1-2,3 and 11.
  • A watchtower offering commanding views of the Dead Sea and the Judean Desert cliffs.
  • Two large-scale ritual baths leading into a dining hall.
  • A  close-up view of cave 4, where most of the Dead Sea Scrolls were found.
  • The main cemetery at the site’s eastern wing.

Integrate a tour of Qumran in a day tour of the Dead Sea or an extensive multi-day tour of the Holy Land.

Contact us to inquire more about a private tour to Qumran:

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