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It wasn't all bad

Archaeologists find dozens of Dead Sea Scroll fragments

For the first time in 60 years, Israeli archaeologists have discovered dozens of Dead Sea Scroll fragments, pieces of parchment that date back to around the first century.

The more than 80 fragments were found inside a cave in the Judean Desert, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced on Tuesday. Also discovered in the cave were an intact woven basket believed to be 10,500 years old and the 6,000-year-old mummified skeleton of a child. The Dead Sea Scrolls are ancient Jewish religious manuscripts that were first discovered in the 1940s and 1950s, and are some of the earliest known copies of Biblical texts.

It is believed the newly found scrolls were hidden in the cave by Jewish rebels fleeing a Roman advance. The parchment fragments feature Greek text from the books of Zechariah and Nahum, including the verse, "These are the things you are to do: Speak the truth to one another, render true and perfect justice in your gates."

Joe Uziel, head of the Israel Antiquities Authority's Dead Sea Scrolls unit, told The Associated Press that Biblical texts are not "static," and the slight differences picked up in different scrolls are "important." When those details are added up, he said, it allows historians to "understand a little bit better" how the Biblical text came into its Hebrew form.