For several decades, fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls, kept at the University of Manchester, were believed to be blank. A recent discovery has finally revealed that they contain hidden text, which may belong to the Book of Ezekiel.
The scrolls, which are known as the oldest versions of the Hebrew Bible, are back in business because Professor Joan Taylor of King's College in London decided to photograph all existing fragments using multispectral images, revealing that they hide Hebrew text that is not visible to the naked eye.
Although evidence of great scientific value has always been considered, the fragments were apparently found blank in the caves of Qumran, on the Dead Sea, in the late 1940s.
Among the 51 photographs taken, six were identified for further investigation and, of these, four contained legible Hebrew text, written with carbon-based ink.
In the most substantial fragment, the researcher was able to identify traces of four lines of text, with 15 to 16 letters, most of which were partially preserved. Still, the word Shabbat – which means Saturday in Hebrew – can be read clearly. This revelation seems to suggest a link to the biblical book of Ezekiel, as the report indicates published by the University of Manchester.
Further research will be carried out in order to analyze the various artifacts from Qumran, which are kept at this university. The results will later be published in a scientific article.