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The Dead Sea Scrolls discovery is so widely celebrated by the scholarly community and the scrolls have played such an important part in Biblical scholarship as the oldest biblical manuscripts that it is sometimes easy to forget that most of them are in fact Bible artifacts found during archaeological looting by Bedouin.
Yet the provenance of these Biblical artifacts has been established with reasonable certainty, and their authenticity was never doubted.
Lankester Harding, the British-appointed head of the Jordanian Department of Antiquities, mounted an archaeological excavation early on at Khirbet Qumran, near the cave where the scrolls had been found.
Since then, a debate has raged among scholars as to the relationship of the Qumran ruins to the scrolls.
When he investigated, he found seven nearly intact ancient documents that became known as the Dead Sea Scrolls.