Adjacent areas to it are very arid and favorable for the preservation of materials like the Dead Sea Scrolls.The Bible's description, in Genesis 19, of a destructive earthquake near the Dead Sea area during the time of Abraham is borne out by archaeological and historic investigation.

Coming from the late Second Temple Period, a time when Jesus of Nazareth lived, they are older than any other surviving biblical manuscripts by almost one thousand years. Of what significance are the scrolls to Judaism and Christianity?

Were its inhabitants responsible for the scrolls and their presence in the caves?

Because of its low elevation and its position in a deep basin, the climate of the Dead Sea area is unusual.

Its very high evaporation does produce a haze yet its atmospheric humidity is low.

are a collection of some 981 different texts discovered between 19 in eleven caves in the immediate vicinity of the ancient settlement at Khirbet Qumran in the West Bank.

The caves are located about two kilometres (1.2 miles) inland from the northwest shore of the Dead Sea, from which they derive their name.

Bronze coins found at the same sites form a series beginning with John Hyrcanus (135–104 BCE) and continuing until the First Jewish–Roman War (66–73 CE), supporting the radiocarbon and paleographic dating of the scrolls.

In 1947, young Bedouin shepherds, searching for a stray goat in the Judean Desert, entered a long-untouched cave and found jars filled with ancient scrolls. Since their discovery nearly half a century ago, the scrolls and the identity of the nearby settlement have been the object of great scholarly and public interest, as well as heated debate and controversy. This exhibition presents twelve Dead Sea Scroll fragments and archaeological artifacts courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority as well as supplementary materials from the Library of Congress.

That initial discovery by the Bedouins yielded seven scrolls and began a search that lasted nearly a decade and eventually produced thousands of scroll fragments from eleven caves. It is designed to retell the story of the scrolls' discovery; explore their archaeological and historical context; introduce the scrolls themselves; explore the various theories concerning the nature of the Qumran community; and examine some of the challenges facing modern researchers as they struggle to reconstruct the scrolls from the tens of thousands of fragments that remain.