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He also purchased a few fragments that were once owned by two scholars who had worked in the Qumran caves as students in 1948 (the students got the fragments as gifts from a bishop who supported the work)."The quest that started as a 'Mission: Impossible' in 1986, gradually proceeded to become a collection of [about] 115 fragments from around 27 different scrolls," Schøyen said.He added that some of the fragments in his collection come from caves 1, 4 and 11 at Qumran, while some come from other caves in the Judean Desert.Some of the Bedouin sold their scrolls in Bethlehem through an antiquities dealer named Khalil Iskander Shahin, who went by the name "Kando." Shahin died in 1993 and his son William Kando now runs his business and estate.Many scholars believe that the Dead Sea Scrolls were hidden in the Qumran caves around A. 70, during a Jewish revolt against the Roman Empire."It was for me a 'Mission: Impossible.'"His determination paid off as, gradually, he was able to track down scroll fragments that were for sale by a number of sources.He bought several from a family collection that is now in in Zurich (the name was not published) and several more from the descendants of tourists or collectors who had purchased scrolls from Shahin's shop in Bethlehem in the 1950s.
"The ultimate challenge had become to acquire a fragment of the Dead Sea Scrolls with a biblical text," Schøyen wrote in the book.
The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered between 19 in a series of 11 caves by the archaeological site of Qumran in the Judean Desert, near the Dead Sea.
During that time, archaeologists and local Bedouins unearthed thousands of fragments from nearly 900 manuscripts.
They may have been written by a Jewish sect known as the Essenes.
Qumran and its caves are located in the West Bank, a territory captured by Israel from Jordan during the Six-Day War in 1967.
Jordan at times has asserted that the Dead Sea Scrolls belong to them.