Much mystery surrounds the Qumran caves – a world-famous archaeological site near the mouth of the river Qumran, where in 1946 a Bedouin boy discovered a cave containing clay pots with obscure manuscripts. Following these findings hundreds of Hebrew manuscripts from the second and first centuries BC were discovered in that cave and its surroundings, these were the “Dead Sea Scrolls.”
Archaeological excavations near the cave recovered the remains of a Jewish settlement that was founded during the Second Temple period. It is theorized that these are remnants of the Essenes – a secretive sect of the Judean Desert that excites the imagination with the ruins of its residential buildings, a cemetery, ritual baths and evidence of agriculture and various ancient crafts. The site is a declared National Park with a visitors’ center, excursions and trips, an installation and observation points. Many Christians visit the place because of the belief that John the Baptist was related to the Essenes and visited here.