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    Results of Ancient DNA Research Dead Sea Scrolls

    Scientists question the accuracy of ancient DNA taken from archaeological sites since it is contaminated by decay and elements like bacteria. But researchers recently decided to test the skins on which some Dead Sea Scrolls are written to try to identify their source of origin. The results may help to piece together their mystery.

     

    One of the samples resulted in a match for cattle hide. Cattle remains have been found in archaeological sites at Jericho and Gezer. Josephus wrote that the regions of northern Israel and the Jericho valley were fertile. The real hindrance to Jewish farmers was Roman control as Romans forced the sale of Jewish land and gave it to Gentiles. Still it is not unreasonable to conclude that the cattle skins needed for the parchments found in the desert were accessible to scribes in the area of Israel. 

     

    The research in no way invalidates the age or importance of the Scrolls. You can find the article here.

    Also, as an interesting side note, other researchers have discovered that cattle in Africa descend from cattle from the Fertile Crescent, the area of Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Turkey and Israel. This is one more blow to the Out of Africa Theory of evolution. You can read more about that theory in our book NOAH. You can read the article about the cattle genetics research here.  

    Image by Antonio Grosz courtesy of Unsplash

     

     

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