BAR 15:05, Sep/Oct 1989
Hideouts in the Judean Wilderness
Jewish revolutionaries and Christian ascetics sought shelter and protection in cliffside caves
More than three decades have passed since archaeologists and Bedouin prowled the caves of the Judean wilderness in search of ancient manuscripts and other remains. What occasioned this frenzied search was the stunning but accidental finding of the first Dead Sea Scrolls: In 1947 Bedouin shepherds came upon the scrolls in the caves of Wadi Qumran. A race of discovery ensued between Bedouin working haphazardly and archaeologists working methodically and with superior knowledge. The results of this race were as astounding as the initial discoveries. Both sides were successful, but as between the two, the Bedouin were clearly the winners. Then the search stopped.