The Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS) are a collection of scrolls found in the desert east of Jerusalem on the shore of the Dead Sea. They represent the largest manuscript collections of texts from the Second Temple Period found in the area of Judah, an area notorious for its lack of manuscripts. Around 930 texts were found in 11 caves in the hills surrounding Khirbet (=ruins of) Qumran. The texts are the product of a community of Essenes who lived in the nearby ruins of Qumran and were composed between the 3rd century BCE and the 1st century CE. They are significant because they shed considerable light on the religious and political world of late Second Temple Judaism and on the text of the Hebrew Bible.
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