“Khirbet Qumran” is an archaeological site close to the north western shores of the Dead Sea. Between 1947 to 1956 in 11 caves around the site some 16,000 scrolls and fragments of scroll were recovered by bedouins and archaeologists. Today they are known as “The Dead Sea Scrolls“. Originally they were part of a 2000 years old library that was perhaps kept in Qumran, but hidden in haste in nearby caves in fear of the Romans.
The members of the sect that produced the scrolls never returned to retrieve them, yet the exceptional dry climate kept the scrolls from rotting. The Dead Sea Scrolls are considered to be the most significant archaeological discovery ever made in the Holy Land, and they are on display today at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.
The site itself bears evidence of the sect that relates to the Dead Sea Scrolls, including a communal dinning room, a number of ritural baths, some unusally big, and an adjacent large cemetery.
From the site one can also see some of the caves where the scrolls were hidden, and especially cave no. 4.
The exact nature of the group that lived in Qumran and its connection to the Dead Sea Scrolls is still a great mystery, but it seems that the group of this site had an important impact on the life and acts of John the Baptist.