SEARCH IN THE DESERT by John Marco Allegro


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Everybody talks about the Dead Sea Scrolls, but nobody does anything about them. This British professor and experienced archaeologist did, and the account of one of his Jordan expeditions is guaranteed to interest others in exploring the Judean Wilderness to save the treasures from the careless Bedouin plunderers. The preparations for the expedition included a hunt for funds and philanthropists, the random gathering of interested recruits, and the technical problematic of transport and survival. Three Dead Sea caves were chosen for excavation in search of scrolls and relics from the epochal beginnings of our era. Amidst Herod's palaces and ancient monasteries, the eclectic group of diggers makes camp and sets the pick for adventurous discovery. No scrolls on this trip, as it happened, but plenty of artifacts and temptations for further work were unearthed in the six-week period. Without the familiar dried-up academic sentiment for parchments, this journal manages to establish their importance, while convincing us persuasively of the joys of field archaeology. A learned adventure story to acquire proselytes in the search for sources. Amateurs (and contributions) are welcome.

Publisher: Doubleday