Standing among the 2,000 year-old ruins of Qumran, overlooking the Dead Sea on the edge of the Judean Wilderness, visitors gain deeper appreciation for the Dead Sea Scrolls, containing the oldest Bible ever found, and discovered right here.

You’ll see a room where scribes may have copied the scrolls, a pavement where the hard-working inhabitants dried dates, a potters’ workshop, a dining hall, and a ritual bath, recalling the way of life of the Essenes who left Jerusalem seeking spiritual purity.

At the visitor center, designed like Qumran’s ancient buildings, an exciting film links the fabulous landscape with the story of its people, recalling that John the Baptist may have lived here. A dramatic view of the cave in which most of the Dead Sea Scrolls were found tops off the experience, and whets your appetite to view the scrolls themselves at the Israel Museum’s Shrine of the Book in Jerusalem.

– The Israel Ministry of Tourism