While searching up a hill for a strayed goat, Mohammed edh Dhib and Ahmed Mohammed noticed a small hole in the rock face. Their curiosity was particularly aroused when one of them threw a rock into the hole and heard it smash into a pottery jar inside. Returning the next day, they crawled into the cave and discovered eight large jars lining the walls. All but two of the jars were empty—one was filled with earth while the other contained one large scroll and two smaller ones.
What Mohammed and Ahmed found was the now famous complete Isaiah Scroll, the Manual of Discipline and the Habakkuk Commentary. The shepherds took the three scrolls back to their camp southeast of Bethlehem, where the manuscripts were kept in a bag hanging from a tent pole for at least three months.