Jerusalem is one of the oldest communities in the world. In the 4th century BC, its oldest section was founded. Today, one can find ancient temples here, along with churches, mosques, and other buildings that are rich in religious and historical significance.
These structures are a living history of the city’s symbolic importance through the ages. It continues to be one of the great sites for archeological research and investigation. The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered here in the 20th century, and the years between 1947-1956 saw the most activity in terms of excavation.
There are over 900 documents that make up the corpus of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and most are considered to be sacred texts from the Hebrew Bible. They were discovered along the ancient West Bank settlement of Khirbet Qumran, in a series of eleven caves that sit on the shores of the Dead Sea.
They were immediately recognized as having immense historical, religious, and cultural significance. Most experts date the scrolls to the years between 150BCE and 70CE. Most scholars associate the sacred texts with the ancient Jewish sect of the Essenes, although there are some who contest this. They have attracted the attention of theologians, scientists, and academics, and have served to fire the imaginations of writers, and travelers, from all over the world.
Today, Jerusalem is widely considered to be a city with great political upheaval and is the focus of the contemporary news. It also continues to be one of the great destinations for travelers looking for clues to world history, and the foundations of three of the great world religions. It’s one of the great ancient cities, and the diverse cultural influences at work here are evident in the architectural wonders. Cultural orientation as well as a search for a cultural holy land inspire many visitors, who continue to arrive year after year in search of meaning, and sometimes, mystery. The history of a great deal of world culture is here, from the ancient Jewish city of David, through the empires of the Romans, Byzantines, and the Ottomans.
Author: Bob Adams