In a laboratory in Berlin, Germany, a team of researchers are poring over apparent fragments of an ancient text. Previously on display in Washington, D.C.’s Museum of the Bible, the textual remains purportedly form part of the world-famous Dead Sea Scrolls. However, soon the researchers discover that something doesn’t quite add up.
The more recent chapter of this story began some seven decades ago. Bedouin shepherds had stumbled upon a cache of scrolls hidden within a cave in Qumran, in what is now the West Bank, in 1946. And although the shepherds were initially told that the discovery wasn’t worth anything, they decided to persevere. As a result, the documents were subsequently sold to a local antiques dealer named Khalil Eskander Shahin – a.k.a. Kando.