Video from the Dead Sea

This is a follow-up to yesterday’s post about Daniel Falk’s adventure at a desert cave in Israel. Falk and two colleagues, all experts on the Dead Sea Scrolls,  were invited to join an archaeological dig there for a few days.

Last night Falk sent us these video clips from his visits to the cave.

First, getting there: After using mountaineering gear to clamber up the side of the bluff, he had to work his way sideways to reach the cave, which is just visible near the end of the clip. You’ll hear him say hello to a person in a green shirt who is sitting at the edge of the cave.

Then comes the sifting. If you read yesterday’s post, you know that the clouds of dust are mostly bat dung. Really gives you the flavor of the work, doesn’t it?


After sifting out the fine particles, Falk and his partner pick through the bigger pieces for anything of interest. Notice how close they’re standing to the edge of the cliff!


And then there’s the trip back down the side of the bluff at the end of the day. I never realized that rappelling was an important skill for scholars of ancient manuscripts.


Falk and his friends are now safely back in Jersusalem, where they are continuing their work on papyrus fragments of Dead Sea Scrolls.


Members of the media interested in learning more about Daniel Falk’s work can contact him at or Cherie Winner at

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