The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered near Qumran in 1947: Many scholars believe an offshoot of a Jewish sect known as the Essenes inhabited Qumran. Most likely, when the Essenes heard of the approach of the Roman armies in AD 68, they placed their scrolls in pottery jars and hid them in nearby caves. The scrolls were then later discovered between 1946 and 1956 by Bedouin shepherds and a team of archaeologists.
The Dead Sea Scrolls contain the oldest copies of the Hebrew Scriptures ever found. They have been dated from the last 3 centuries BCE and the first century CE
Scrolls of every Old Testament book were found at Qumran, except for the book of Esther. Some are complete scrolls, others are fragmentary.