Bible and archaeology news
A new study of more than 200 textile fragments recovered from the Qumran caves suggests the authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls were part of the local Essene community. The study, conducted by Orit Shamir of the Israel Antiquities Authority and Naama Sukenik, a graduate student of Bar-Ilan University, found that all of the textiles from Qumran were made of white linen, despite the fact that colorful wool garments were far more common in Israel during the Second Temple period. According to Shamir and Sukenik, the white linen fits with the description of the Essenes found in Josephus, who wrote that the Essenes “make a point of keeping a dry skin and always being dressed in white.” “They wanted to be different than the Roman world,” said Shamir. “They were very humble; they didn’t want to wear colorful textiles and they wanted to use very simple textiles.”
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