8. 3Q15 Copper Scroll, Cut 15, Column 8, early 1st century C.E.
The Copper Scroll is unique among the Dead Sea Scrolls, being the only one inscribed in metal. The scroll was found in Qumran Cave 3, rolled up into two parts. The copper was so heavily oxidized that it had to be cut into twenty-three half-cylinder segments, rather than unrolled. The text lists a vast quantity of buried treasure. Unfortunately, after 2,000 years the directions for finding the treasure remain rather obscure. One paragraph in Column 8 reads, in Hebrew, “In the irrigation cistern of the Shaveh, in the outlet that is in it, buried at eleven cubits: 70 talents of silver.”
Photograph by Bruce and Kenneth Zuckerman, West Semitic Research. Courtesy Department of Antiquities, Jordan.