Scholars believe that the scrolls were concealed by members of a religious sect called the Essenes, who lived in the isolated community. They hid the scrolls to keep them safe during political unrest in the area, where they remained hidden for hundreds of years.
The dead sea scrolls are religious writings that were first discovered in 1947. They were ancient documents written on leather and copper.
These scrolls were hidden in caves near the dead sea. The dry atmosphere of the caves had the effect of preserving the scrolls. About 800 scrolls have been discovered, mostly in a place called Qumbran in Israel. They date from between 150 BC and AD 68, and they include all of the books of the Old Testament, or Hebrew Bible, except for Ester.