The Billion-Dollar Treasure
The most unusual, intriguing, and baffling of the Dead Sea Scrolls has nothing to do with the text of the Bible. Instead it’s a list inscribed on copper sheets of sixty-four places where sacred objects and huge quantities of gold and silver—estimated to be worth at least one billion dollars—are hidden.
The Copper Scroll has no introduction and no explanation. It’s just a list -- a list that probably describes the treasures of the Jerusalem temple that were buried shortly before the Romans destroyed the city in 70 AD.
Some of the locations seem very specific, such as, “In the funerary shrine, in the third course of stones: 100 gold ingots” or "In the fortress which is in the Vale of Achor, forty cubits under the steps entering to the east: a money chest and its contents, of a weight of seventeen talents." But because the landmarks are unknown today the directions are not specific enough for anyone to find the treasure -- at least so far.
The Copper Scroll on display at the Archaeological Museum in Amman, Jordan; the original is green in the case at the bottom; the copy in the frame is a reproduction. (Wikimedia Commons)
Yes, people have looked for the treasure and are still looking. In 2007 The History Channel’s series Digging for Truth included a program on the Copper Scroll.