More than 60 years after their discovery, Israeli experts have finally figured out the contents of one of the last two undeciphered fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Scientists at Haifa University reconstructed 60 tiny fragments that were part of six different scrolls. What they discovered after they put it all together was a unique 364-day calendar used by a Jewish sect living during the Second Temple time. “Most Jews used a calendar that is similar to the one used today,” Dr. Eshbal Ratzon of Haifa University told Israel’s Haaretz newspaper. “The sect used a calendar that is almost based on a solar year, comprising 364 days.”

Notes on the fragments show the sect even gave names to the days marking the four seasons. The days were referred to by the word “Tekufah” which in Hebrew means “period.” “This term is familiar from the later Rabbinical literature and from mosaics dating to the Talmudic period, and we could have assumed that it would also be used with this meaning in the scrolls, but this is the first time it has been revealed,” remarked professor Jonatan Ben-Dov, who helped Ratzon decipher the ancient texts. READ MORE