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Qumran - Dead Sea Scrolls - The Dead Sea Travel Information

Photos from Qumran

קומראן - מערת המגילות הגנוזות קומראן - מקווה ומראן - מערת המגילות הגנוזות

The Qumran site was discovered in 1946 by a bedouin boy, who went to find a lost goat, but instead found a cave in which clay pots were hidden. In these pots, a treasure of manuscripts was discovered. This discovery led to the discovery of over 700 additional manuscripts in this area.

The first person to realize the importance of these scrolls was professor Eleazar Liffa Sukenik of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, who bought three of the original seven scrolls. The rest of the scrolls were smuggled to the US by a christian priest, and were then bought in 1954 by Sukenik's son, Yigal Yadin, and returned to Israel.

The people of the bedouin Tamara tribe understood that there is a market for scrolls, and raided the area. 10 out of 11 sites in which scrolls were discovered along the dead sea shores, were discovered by people of that tribe. Only Massada was discovered by researchers without the 'aid' of the bedouins.

The site near the 'Dead Sea Scrolls Cave', called 'Hirbat Qumran', was excavated during the years 1952-1956. In these excavations, remains of an ancient settlement were found, where a mysterious sect used to live, starting from the 2nd century BC, and until the year of 68 AD, when the place was taken by the Romans, and destroyed.

The people of this sect lived a communal life. The sect was an extreme section of the Isiim sect. The leaders of this settlement were Priests from the family of the Zadokites, descendants of the high priest Zadok, who served during the days of King David and King Solomon.

Getting to Qumran

People coming from Jerusalem should take the road leading from Jerusalem to the Dead Sea, until reaching the turn to route 90 towards Ein-Gedi (southwards). Near the Kalia Kibbutz, there is a sign pointing to the Qumran site.

Visiting the Qumran National Park

The Qumran area contains remains from various periods, but the most important are findings from the end of the second temple period, and from the Bar-Kachva rebellion era. It is possible to see the cave in which the Dead Sea Scrolls were found, and other structures that were excavation in the site.

An audio-visual presentation tells the story of the site, and of the people who used to live here.

It is possible to take a short walk up the Qumran canyon, in a nice dessert surrounding. This canyon is used for abseiling.


18 NIS (adult)
8 NIS (child)
15 NIS (adult in group)
7 NIS (child in group)