Israel's Hebrew University says archaeologists have found a cave that once contained Dead Sea scrolls.
The university said Wednesday that while no texts were found in the cave near the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea, findings indicate that scrolls were once stored there. Storage jars, fragments of a scroll wrapping and a string used to tie the scroll were all found in the cave. It is the 12th known cave said to have contained scrolls.
The university says the scrolls are believed to have been stolen from the cave in the 1950s.
Noam Mizrahi, an expert on the scrolls who was not involved in the project, said the discovery of a cave showing human activity called for further exploration to see if there might be caves nearby containing scrolls.
"This exciting excavation is the closest we've come to discovering new Dead Sea scrolls in 60 years. Until now, it was accepted that Dead Sea scrolls were found only in 11 caves at Qumran, but now there is no doubt that this is the 12th cave," said Oren Gutfeld, an archaeologist at the Hebrew University's Institute of Archaeology and director of the excavation.