Once you’re in the Dead Sea area, don’t miss out on this fabulous piece of history.
The legend tells us that in 1946 a young Bedouin shepherd went to search for a missing goat. The boy stumbled upon a cave and in it he found clay pottery with mysterious scrolls. Amazed by this discovery the boy came back home and led archeologists to find more than 900 scrolls in the mystery cave.
Of course, in all the commotion the goat was forgotten and the world got one of the biggest discoveries it could get: the discovery of a two thousand years old sect, the Essenes of the Dead Sea, a Jewish religious sect that consisted only of men who fled Jerusalem. These men were farmers who led a strict daily routine and lived simply and modestly.
The cave is located on the northern shore of the Dead Sea. The Essenes used it as a library and the scrolls that were found are biblical texts and some religious texts. In the national park you can see the ruins of the ancient city and watch a light-and-sound show about Qumran history and the Essenes. There is also a small museum dedicated to Qumran history but no scrolls are on display. If you’d like to see some of the scrolls, you should visit Israel Museum in Jerusalem.
Visiting Qumran is a must if you’re a history buff. Being in such an ancient place gets you thinking about the great progress we’ve made in the past 2,000 years and wonder: as rich as they were, the Essenes left nearly a thousand manuscripts after them, some in poor shape. What will be left after I’m gone? All the same, it’s a striking touch of history you should catch while you get stronger and healthier in the Dead Sea.