We traveled to the archaeological site of Qumran. This plaque says:
“In the summer of 1947, Bedouin shepherds were pasturing their flocks near the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea. While looking for a goat that had wandered off into the cliffs, they came across a curious rock crevice. When they threw a stone into a cave opening they found, they were surprised to hear a strange echo. They crawled inside, and in the dimness they spied large, whole jars standing on the floor. Inside the jars, they found folded pieces of leather, some of which were wrapped in cloth. That is how the secret of the Qumran scrolls began to be revealed.”
“‘And the congregation shall watch in community for a third of every night of the year, to read the book and to study law and to bless together.’ (Community rule VI, 7-8). The members of the Qumran sect occupied themselves with studying the books of the Bible. Hundreds of pottery lamps were discovered in this room, validating the supposition that it was used for studying during the night.”
The area was excavated between 1951 and 1956 by Father Roland de Vaux who found additional scrolls.
Qumran – The Story Of The Dead Sea Scrolls