The name of a wadi, or stream bed, on the northwest shore of the Dead Sea. It is associated with the nearby ruins of an ancient Jewish settlement made famous by the discovery there of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
The modern name of the site is Khirbet Qumran. It lies 13 km (8 mi) south of Jericho. In 1947 the first of the Dead Sea Scrolls were found in caves in the area, apparently put there by the first-century inhabitants of Qumran, whom many scholars identify with a Jewish sect called the Essenes. These people hid their important documents in the caves before fleeing the Roman invasion of 68 C.E. The Romans destroyed this settlement and apparently stationed a garrison there until about 73 C.E.