Now they are part of a weird diplomatic move by the Jordanians, who want them back.
It is true that Israel obtained most of them as part of the East Jerusalem booty of the Six Day War. And as such, there is a good case to be made that they ought to return them to Jordan.
But then we wonder, why in the world would Jordan want them?
Jordan demands return of Dead Sea Scrolls 'seized' by Israel
By Haaretz Service
Jordan has asked the UN to force Israel to hand over Dead Sea Scrolls, which it says Israel stole.
Jordan has asked the United Nations to force Israel to hand over a significant portion of the Dead Sea Scrolls, a collection of some 900 ancient religious texts unearthed in the 1940s and 1950s, Army Radio reported on Wednesday.
The Jordanian government has also asked the Canadian government to impound the 2,000-year-old documents, currently on display at a museum in Toronto, according to reports in the Canadian press.
Jordan cited international law to request that Canada take possession of the documents until the dispute is resolved.
Jordan has accused Israel of seizing the scrolls from a museum in east Jerusalem during the 1967 Six-Day War.
Jordan's claim to the scrolls, which academics believe were compiled about 2,000 years ago by the Essenes, an obscure Jewish sect, may discourage other countries from hosting the exhibit.
National Union MK Aryeh Eldad on Wednesday said that Jordan has no right to demand the return of the scrolls, Army Radio reported.