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2,000-year-old Biblical Scroll Discovered During Masada Excavations

A 2,000-year-old Biblical scroll on parchment containing Chapters 8 to 11 of the Book of Leviticus was discovered today at the ancient fortress of Masada in the Judean Wilderness as the Hebrew University began its final season of excavation of Herod’s Palace and other portions of the fort.

Dr. Yigael Yadin, director of the archaeological expedition, said that the text of the ancient scroll, which was identical with the Masoretic text of that portion of the Torah, relates the story of the consecration of Aaron and his sons as priests, and includes the enumeration of forbidden and permissible foods which form the basis of the Dietary Laws practiced by traditional Jews.

Other discoveries reported at Masada today included pottery fragments bearing inscriptions and coins dating back to some years before 73 C. E. when the Masada defenders burned their fortress as the Romans stormed the walls.