1993, 40 years after R. de Vaux excavated at Qumran, renewed excavations commenced
revealing important new discoveries. The excavations were carried out in 1993,
and from 1996 to 2002 under the supervision of Dr. Itzhak Magen and myself for
the Staff Officer of Archaeology in the Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria.
The main objective of this project was to re-examine the stratigraphy of this
settlement. The results of these
investigations will soon be published in the Judea and Samaria Publications series. Thousands of artifacts were unearthed, including numerous shards and complete pottery vessels, glass and stone vessels, coins that signified the various stages of the site, jewelry, ostraka and organic materials. Items found were from the Iron age and from the Second Temple period. In addition, parts of the main water channel were unearthed. Pottery workshops and installations for processing dates and balsam were also found. One unique find was complete pottery vessels that in many cases were filled with animal bones. Several storage jars dated from the end of the second century B.C were found sealed, precisely as described in the bible as "tzamid patil" (Num. 19:15). The contents of these vessels are of organic origin, and presently being analyzed by Prof. Steve Weiner of the Weitzman Institute. This find establishes that the inhabitants of Qumran were already observing Halacha at this early stage.