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(Seth Parker, University of Kentucky) [Scientists uncovered a skeleton from the ancient world’s most famous — and mysterious — shipwreck] "We never dreamed we could bring it back to life," study co-author Pnina Shor, curator at the Israel Antiquities Authority, said during an embargoed news briefing held on Tuesday.
But now scientists have figured out how to read the text without opening its fragile pages – revealing the scroll to be the book of Leviticus."Imaging alone is almost never a complete solution, because scrolls are scrolled.To unroll those lumps of ancient scroll would be unthinkable, as the gentlest touch might crumble the text to dust.Now, more than 40 years later, researchers at the University of Kentucky have provided Israeli scholars with legible text from inside the scroll — without having to unroll it.The first bits of analysis, published Wednesday in Science Advances, reveal that the 1,500-year-old En-Gedi scroll contains the book of Leviticus written in Hebrew.
That makes it the oldest Pentateuchal scroll ever found in Hebrew outside of the Dead Sea Scrolls.