Fragment of Ancient Biblical Scroll Found at Massada Excavations
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Fragment of Ancient Biblical Scroll Found at Massada Excavations

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A fragment of an additional Biblical scroll comprising part of the Book of Genesis has been found by archaeologists excavating the place of King Herod on Massada Fortress at the shores of the Dead Sea, it was disclosed here today by Dr. Yigael Yadin, Hebrew University archaeologist in charge of the expedition.

The latest find was one of the many relics uncovered at the site where Jewish zealots made their last defense against the Roman troops who stormed the fortress in 70 C.E. Dr. Yadin reported that more than 90 inscriptions have been found on pieces of pottery or on complete jars, many of them indicating what was in the vessels and whether the religious tithe had already been taken from the contents

One such inscription mentioned the name of Akavya, the High Priest, and another the name of John and the Greek letter alpha. The latter inscription, Dr. Yadin said, was connected with the distribution of the highest quality of oil or wine as explicitly described in the Mishna, the rabbinic post Biblical code. Dr. Yadin noted that these finds were of the utmost importance in understanding the internal administration at Massada and Jerusalem during the period. Among the other finds, he said, were more than 1,000 coins including two silver shekels of the period of the first Jewish revolt.

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