Still More News

Another Dead-Sea Scrolls Cave Found

The good news: another Dead Sea Scrolls cave has been discovered. The bad news: there are no more Dead Sea Scrolls in it. Apparently the looters found it first.

‘Cave 12,’ as it will probably be called, is not far from the original 11 where the famous scrolls—generally dubbed the greatest archaeological find of the twentieth century—were first discovered in 1946. This is the first time in 60 years that a new cave has been found. The area near Qumran on the Dead Sea in the eastern Judean Desert, the modern West Bank, has yielded the oldest biblical texts of the Hebrew bible ever found—dating back to as old as three centuries BCE. Other holy books, like the Book of Enoch and the Copper Scroll, have also been found. This time, even though numerous storage jars and lids from the Second Temple period were found, the jars had all been broken and the contents removed. A pair of 1950s-era iron pickaxe heads (stored within the tunnel for later use) proves that the cave had been looted.

Still, the surprising discovery is a milestone in Dead Sea Scroll research. Dr. Oren Gutfeld and Ahiad Ovadia from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Institute of Archaeology shared in the discovery with Dr. Randall Price and students from Liberty University in Virginia.


More Embarrassment for Orthodox Archaeology

Not many years ago, the suggestion that humans could have lived in North America over 13,000 years ago, would have been dismissed as the raving of the uneducated. Now newly reconsidered evidence, found over 40 years ago, is proving the human presence here at least 24,000 years ago. Part of a growing flood tide of such evidence, the discovery eviscerates the conventional wisdom of a generation.

The jawbone of a horse marked by stone tools, carbon dated to 22,000 BCE, was found in a cave near the Bluefish River of Canada’s Yukon Territory, along with other artifacts between 1977 and 1987. Completely contradicted is what has been called the Clovis hypothesis—that humans first came to the Americas across a land bridge from Siberia about 11,000 BCE. The Bluefish River discovery was made by Canadian archaeologist Jacques Cinq-Mars, but never taken seriously until now. That sad fact is now readily acknowledged by experts to be the result of Clovis-Theory prejudice.

One is left to wonder what other ‘scientific’ preconceptions stand in the way of a proper understanding of our past.


Amazon Geoglyphs Show Signs of Lost High Civilization

For years conventional wisdom regarding the Amazonian rain forests, has held that before the arrival of the Europeans, they were pristine ecosystems that had never experienced the destructive forces of civilization. Never mind the claims of explorers like Percy Fawcett that, where today there is only jungle, there had once been cities. There simply wasn’t enough arable farmland, it was argued, to support anything other than a primitive subsistence culture. Such pronouncements, however, are now contradicted by new discoveries—chief among them: immense carefully constructed geometrical earthworks (over 450 found so far, of mostly large circles and squares). Now a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences lays out evidence, ironically brought to light by the widespread, and relatively recent, catastrophic deforestation of the region.

Author Jennifer Watling of São Paulo’s Museum of Archaeology and Ethnography says that, so far, no one knows what the structures were for. Village squares or fortresses have been ruled out, but it is clear that a large-scale and organized (i.e., civilized) effort was required to construct them. At this point researchers say the forests were cleared about 2,000 years ago by an unknown culture in command of an area covering about 500 square miles.

The ‘geoglyphs’ give new weight to the claims of once derided alternative researchers like British explorer Percy Fawcett who disappeared in the 1930s on a mission to locate a great ancient jungle city, which he believed had once ruled the Amazon basin. Fawcett’s exact whereabouts at the time of his disappearance has never been established.