Dead Seas Scrolls – Noah’s Ark Was Shaped Like a Pyramid

July 3, 2016

According to a reading from a newly digitized fragment of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Noah’s Ark was something different than what is currently believed. The 2,000-year-old text may be proof that the Ark was the shape of a pyramid.

Over 50 years ago, a stone thrown by a Bedouin shepherd into a cave led to what some have called the greatest archaeological discovery of the 20th century. The Bedouin heard the stone crack open an earthenware jar. Upon investigating, he found the first of what came to be known as the Dead Sea Scrolls.

When all the scrolls and fragments were sorted out, they accounted for about 800 manuscripts. About one quarter, or just over 200 manuscripts, are copies of portions of the Hebrew Bible text.

Now, after almost five years, a laboratory established by the Israel Antiquities Authority as part of the Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library project, has scanned tens of thousands of fragments from the scrolls with a custom-made camera. Each fragment was photographed 28 times at high resolution using different wavelengths of light.

The sophisticated technology enabled researchers to read letters and words that were previously illegible. Some of the newly-digitized fragments offered new interpretations of well-known Biblical stories.

Haaretz reported that the new reading of the fragments has changed our understanding about Noah’s Ark. Thanks to the high-resolution imagery, a word following the phrase “the ark’s tallness” had previously been illegible.

However, the new scans showed that the correct words is ne’esefet, meaning “gathered,” which according to researcher Dr. Alexey Yuditsky, means that the ark’s ribs were gathered together at the top in the shape of a pyramid. Dr Yuditsky said that the Septuagint, a Greek translation of the Bible dating to the third century BC, used a Greek verb with a similar meaning to describe the Ark. Moreover, medieval authors like Maimonides suggested that the ark’s roof was pointed.

The newly deciphered words on the ancient parchments stayed hidden for centuries, but are now bringing answers to many long standing questions, as well as raising new ones. Previously, the story of Noah’s Ark was known mainly from the Book of Genesis. However, the Dead Sea Scrolls found in Qumran cave in the Judean Desert shed new light on this story.

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