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Israeli Scientists Seeking Ways to Preserve Dead Sea Scrolls

The problem of preserving the Dead Sea Scrolls is the subject of a basic research project–the first of its kind anywhere–that is currently engaging Israeli scientists at the behest of the Israel Museum. They are trying to determine why such factors as variations in temperature, light intensity or humidity, as well as fungi and bacteria, cause damage to the ancient parchments. They are also studying why one set of scrolls–the Manual of Discipline and the Book of Psalms–remain in good condition while the Isaiah Scroll has proven sensitive to light.