The Copper Scroll is part of the extraordinary cache of 1st Century documents first discovered in caves at Qumran, popularly known as the Dead Sea Scrolls. The Copper Scroll, however, is very different from the other documents in the Qumran library. In fact, it is so anomalous among the Dead Sea Scrolls – its author, script, style, language, genre, content, and medium all differ to the other scrolls – that scholars believe it must have been placed in the cave at a different time to the rest of the ancient documents. As Professor Richard Freund stated, the copper scroll is “probably the most unique, the most important, and the least understood.”
While most of the Dead Sea Scrolls were found by Bedouins, the Copper Scroll, which is now on display at the Jordan Museum in Amman, was discovered by an archaeologist. It was found on March 14, 1952 at the back of Cave 3 at Qumran. It was the last of 15 scrolls discovered in the cave, and is thus referred to as 3Q15. While the other scrolls were written on parchment or papyrus, this scroll was written on metal: copper mixed with about 1 percent tin.