Watch Video

In 1946 or 1947—no one knows for certain—a Bedouin goatherd nicknamed Muhammad the Wolf led his flock around the cliffs lining the northwest edge of the Dead Sea. As the livestock grazed on sparse vegetation, Muhammad wandered around the boulders. According to one of several variants of the account, he hurled a stone into a cave to startle a stray goat and heard pottery shatter. Too frightened to lower himself into the cave alone, he returned several days later with at least two relatives from his Ta’amireh tribe. Though they fantasized about finding gold and silver, instead they stumbled upon a cache of oddly shaped clay vessels with bowl shaped lids. Inside one jar, they discovered three ancient leather scrolls, intact and wrapped in linen.