Israel is embarking on a major archaeological expedition to find yet undiscovered Dead Sea Scrolls, an Israeli antiquities official said Monday.
Amir Ganor of the Israel Antiquities Authority said a government research team will spend the next three years surveying hundreds of caves in the Judean Desert near the Dead Sea, the arid region where the Dead Sea Scrolls, the world's oldest biblical manuscripts, were preserved for thousands of years and discovered in 1947.
The collection is considered the crown jewel of Israeli antiquities.
In a move that is bound to stir controversy, the researchers may also excavate Dead Sea-area caves in the West Bank, Ganor said.
Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Mideast War, and the Palestinians want the territory to establish an independent state.
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