GPR investigations at Qumran, Israel: Site of the dead sea scrolls discovery

H. M. Jol, Magen Broshi, H. Eshel, R. A. Freund, J. F. Shroder, P. Reeder, Ron Dubay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The Dead Sea Scrolls are one of the greatest manuscript discoveries of the twentieth century. Since 1947 the Qumran region, the site of the Scrolls discovery on the northwestern shores of the Dead Sea, Israel, has been subject to countless probes. In 2001, ground penetrating radar (GPR) was used in an expedition that was initiated to better understand the Qumran site. Primarily, GPR was used to aid in identifying unmarked graves in the Qumran cemetery, and secondly, to determine if there were more caves in the marl cliffs that might contain artifacts associated with Qumran. In regards to the first GPR objective, two patterns emerged as burial signatures - a hyperbolic feature and/or a "V" shape. An extensive GPR survey was conducted along the outer edges of the presently exposed cemetery as well as empty patches of ground within the present cemetery. Over 100 potential graves were located that did not show surficial expressions. The second objective was achieved by running GPR surveys along the cliff faces and tops. Two sites were then chosen for excavation based on GPR images that showed hyperbolic features between 0.5 and 1.0 m depth. Artifacts were recovered at one site.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-129
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 15 Apr 2002


  • Archaeology
  • Cave
  • Dead Sea Scrolls
  • Graves
  • Ground Penetrating Radar
  • Israel


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