The Dead Sea Scrolls may have been written, at least in part, by a sectarian group called the Essenes, according to nearly 200 textiles discovered in the caves of Qumran in the West Bank, where religious texts were stored.
Researchers disagree on who wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls, and how the texts from Qumran, and therefore the new discovery could help solve this long-standing mystery.
The study revealed that all tissues were made of linen or wool, which was the most popular fabric used in ancient Israel. In addition, they lack the interior, some people really bleached white, although the fabrics for the period is often brightly colored. Overall, say the researchers note that the Essenes, a Jewish sect, "he wrote," some of the scrolls.
Not everyone agrees with this interpretation. An archaeologist who has excavated at Qumran, told LiveScience that the machine could come from people fleeing the Roman army after the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD, and are actually responsible for putting the list in the caves.
The Dead Sea Scrolls consist of about 900 texts, the first batch of which were discovered by a Bedouin shepherd in 1947. Dating from before AD 70, and some may return to the third century BC The scrolls contain a wide variety of writings, including the first copies of the Hebrew Bible, hymns, psalms and calendars, among other works. [Hall of the Dead Sea Scrolls]
Nearly 200 of the same tissues that are found in the caves, as well as some examples of Qumran, the archaeological site near the caves where the scrolls were hidden.
Orit Shamir, curator of the organic matter of the Antiquities Authority of Israel, Naama Sukenik, a doctoral student at Bar Ilan University, from the textile white linen found in caves in the11 examples found elsewhere in ancient Israel, to publish their findings in the latest issue of the Journal of the Dead Sea Discoveries.
A breakthrough in the study of these remains was made in 2007 when a team of archaeologists have determined that the wool textile color available on a site south of Qumran, known as the Christmas Cave, was not linked to area residents. This meant that Shamir and Sukenik was able to focus on textiles 200 found in the caves of the Dead Sea scrolls at Qumran is, knowing that it is the only surviving textiles related to the rollers.
They found that each of these tissues are made of linen, wool, even if the tissue is most popular at the time of Israel. They also found that most of the textiles was originally used as clothing, before being cut and reused for other purposes, such as bandages and scrolls for packaging in bottles.
Some of the fabrics, bleached white, and most of them lacked decoration, although the interior is common in tissue from other sites in ancient Israel.
The researchers say the results suggest that the inhabitants of Qumran simply dressed.
"They wanted to be different from that of the Roman world," said Shamir science live in a telephone interview. "They were very humble, they do not want to wear colored textiles, they wanted to use very simple textiles."
The owners of clothing is likely to have been poor, because only one was a textile patch it. "This is a very, very important," said Samir. "The position reports to the  on the economic situation."
Shamir noted that textiles can be found in places where people are under stress, such as the Cave of Letters, which was used in a revolt against the Romans, were often patched. On the other hand, "if the place is in very good financial position, if it is a very rich site, textiles not be patched," she said. In Qumran, "I think [economic], they were in the middle, but I'm sure they are not poor."
Robert Cargill, a professor at the University of Iowa, has written extensively on Qumran and developed a virtual model of it. He said that archaeological evidence of this site, including parts and glassware, also suggest residents are not poor.
"Far from being poor monks, I think there was wealth at Qumran, at least one form of wealth," said Cargill because the trade was important on the field. "I think they made their own pottery and sold part of it, I think they raised animals and sold them, I think they have honey and sold it."
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