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Site on the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in 1947. Excavations less than a mile from the sea have revealed the ruins of buildings believed by some scholars to have been occupied by Essenes, the probable authors of the scrolls. The buildings include a scriptorium, a potter's workshop, and a flour mill; water was supplied through an aqueduct. The Essenes are thought to have founded a monastic community at Qumran in the mid-2nd century BC. They temporarily abandoned the settlement after an earthquake and fire in 31 BC but later returned and lived there until Roman legions destroyed the community in AD 68.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Qumran, visit Britannica.com.
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