An archaeologist says he discovered nine tiny scrolls with biblical text from the Qumran caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were unearthed, according to news reports.
The newfound scrolls, which date back to about 2,000 years ago, were hidden inside three leather tefillin cases, also known as phylacteries, traditionally carried by observant Jewish men, Italian news agency Ansa Mediterranean reported. These cases were first pulled out of the caves in the 1950s, but their contents apparently were not examined until now.
Starting in the 1940s, the remains of more than 900 manuscripts were found in 11 caves near the site of Qumran in the West Bank. This collection Hebrew Bible texts, which came to be known as the Dead Sea Scrolls, included copies of Genesis, Exodus, Isaiah, Kings and Deuteronomy.
"'It's not every day that you get the chance to discover new manuscripts," archaeologist Yonatan Adler told Ansa Mediterranean. "It's very exciting."
The nine new documents have not been fully examined yet and it's not yet clear what's written in the text. Adler announced his findings at an international conference on Qumran and the Dead Sea Region at Lugano, Switzerland.