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Tuesday, 27 January, 1998, 04:48 GMT
Israeli scholar says new Essenes site found

An Israeli archeologist says he has discovered the remains of a settlement in the Judean hills which belonged to the Essenes -- a community of scholar monks who wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls.

He said the village at Ein Gedi comprised twenty-two stone buildings dating back to the first century AD.

The findings are being contested by Israeli academics who say the Essenes were only based at Qumran It was in a cave near Qumran that the Dead Sea Scrolls, giving clues to the birth of Christianity, were found in 1947.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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