Qumran is an archaeological site in the West Bank managed by Israel’s Qumran National Park. It is located on a dry marl plateau about 1.5 km from the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea and lies near the Israeli settlement and Kibbutz of Kalya.
The Hellenistic period settlement was constructed during the reign of John Hyrcanus (134–104 BCE) or somewhat later, was occupied most of the time until 68 CE and was destroyed by the Romans possibly as late as 73. It is best known as the settlement nearest to the Qumran Caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were hidden, caves in the sheer desert cliffs and beneath, in the marl terrace. The principal excavations at Qumran were conducted by Roland de Vaux in the 1950s, though several later unearthings at the site have since been carried out.
Israel’s Nature and Parks Authority took over the site following the end of the 1967 war, when Israel occupied the West Bank and seized Qumran. Israel has since invested heavily in the area to establish the Qumran caves as a site of “uniquely Israeli Jewish heritage”.