Scheduled on or about March, 2020
The next round of work is on schedule for March and one of the goals will be to return to the site we explored in 2016. We will use remote sensing to examine the clearing in front of the third fracture line and then the entire plateau to the south. You can see the area to be examined in the picture below.
Left: a previous geophysical survey of the plateau in front of
the cave of the pillar showing potential openings or cavities
Below: a photo of the plateau showing the visible cave(s) in relation to a possible hidden cave to the right:
The reason this location might be significant is because of column six (lines one through six) where the authors of the scroll indicate a “pitcher" (kalal - spelled kuf, lamed, lamed) is buried just three cubits below the surface near a hidden opening (to the north) of the cave of the column.
(see column shown between the two openings above)
The next line then indicates that another sefer/book/scroll will also be found there, along with 42 talents underneath.
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Below: photo of column six, lines one through six, in both Hebrew and English
Interestingly, the scroll not only refers to this general area, but it also seems to depict one cave complex in particular. The line of the scroll shown above for example, appears to show the two openings of caves next to a wadi. The text on the next line of the scroll then proceeds to describe a cave with two openings facing east, beside a wadi called "kippa" (note the Hebrew letter lamed which is out of place on the line below shown to the right).
A "lamed" (ל) is the physical combination of the two letters that precede it in the aleph-bet (alphabet) which are the yud (י) and caf (כ).
This area will be examined using the latest, most sophisticated remote sensing equipment available. If an anomaly appears beneath the surface, then a permit will be requested to excavate and determine what it is.
Equally likely, the cliff line may conceal a cave beneath the notch that we excavated in 2016. If remote sensing indicates the possibility of another cave at this location, then it will be necessary to excavate this as well at the earliest opportunity.
These letters are like the palm and finger of a hand pointing to a spot on the column between the two openings. Interestingly enough, there is a natural caf embedded into the actual pillar between the two openings of the cave at this location. See the photos of the pillar shown above right and below.