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11680Re: [ANE-2] Two Qumran articles

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  • Jack Kilmon
    Nov 30, 2009
      I was one of the first few people in the Western World to see two of the
      Dead Sea Scrolls. They were photographs of the Great Isaiah Scroll and
      Habakkuk Commentary shown to me in the spring of 1948 by Professor Albright
      in his office at Johns Hopkins University. At the time I was a small boy
      interested in Semitic paleography and the great man took some time to
      explain to a precocious small boy the difference between the alefs of the
      Isaiah and Habakkuk scrolls and what 50 to 100 years difference there could
      be in a script. Although I continued throughout my life a passion for ANE
      scholarship, my academic interests were in another area. Some background
      out of the way, I must still admit, unless there has been some recent
      compelling evidence, that I have yet to be convinced of a relationship
      between the scrolls and the Qumran site.

      Since there is an interesting range of scholars that I respect in this
      forum, particular a few directly involved I would be interested in an
      outline of the archaeological evidence interpreted for that connection as
      well as positions against that connection....to sort of bring myself to

      Thank you,


      Jack Kilmon
      San Antonio, TX

      From: "dastacey62" <DAVID.STACEY63@...>
      Sent: Sunday, November 29, 2009 5:48 AM
      To: <ANE-2@yahoogroups.com>
      Subject: [ANE-2] Two Qumran articles

      > When Khirbet Qumran et `Ain Feshka Vol 2 was published in 2003 it was
      > noticeable that the conclusions of Gunneweg and Balla, `Neutron analysis
      > of scroll jars and common ware' (pp. 3-57), were markedly different from
      > those of Michniewicz and Krzysko, `The provenance of scroll jars from
      > Qumran in the light of archaeometric investigations' (pp. 61-99).
      > Michniewicz has this year published a more detailed report Qumran and
      > Jericho Pottery: A Petrographic and Chemical Provenance Study (published,
      > in English, by Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland). He admits that `it
      > must be emphasised that the conclusions formulated by the two teams were
      > entirely different' (p. 25). He states that `Balla and Gunneweg's
      > conclusions are corroborated neither by information about which elements
      > were taken for statistical interpretation and which determined the
      > division particularly strongly..... nor by the reference data or
      > statistical computation' (p. 26). Much of the book is taken up with
      > chemical and geological data on which I have no expertise to comment.
      > Amongst his conclusions, however, are that `it is certain that the clays
      > of the upper part of Wadi Qumran were not the raw material of which the
      > examined ceramics were made' (p. 140), and that `even assuming, after
      > Magen and Peleg, that the Wadi Qumran deposit was indeed used for pottery
      > making, it should be stressed that this is not a raw material dominating
      > among the Qumran vessels' (p. 139. However he also states that `there are
      > no clues that would allow even a part of the vessels to be ascribed to a
      > workshop in Jericho or Qumran' (p. 142). As several kilns and wasters have
      > been found at Qumran (and one small kiln in Jericho) this must mean that
      > he has yet to discover a local source of clay. From the published data, it
      > does not seem that he sampled the Lissan marl on which both Qumran and
      > Jericho are built.
      > He states that it is `highly probable' that the clays of Petrographic
      > Groups II and III came from outcroppings in `Trans-Jordan, especially
      > between the northern Dead Sea and Zarga and Eastern Samaria i.e. the north
      > eastern part of the West Bank e.g. in Wadi Far'ah, Wadi el Malikh...' (p.
      > 138). This is in the same general area as quarries (including the large
      > underground one recently discovered by Adam Zartal) that are thought to be
      > the provenance of the sandstone ashlars, column drums and capitals
      > integrated into the Hasmonean and Herodian Palaces at Jericho, and at
      > Masada, Rujm el Bahr etc. Does anyone know if kilns have been found in
      > that area, or are we to assume that the clay was shipped to Qumran
      > possibly together with building stones?
      > In Cathedra 131 (March 2009, in Hebrew) Gideon Avni makes an objective
      > and wide-ranging look at the cemetery at Qumran and concludes that it can
      > not be assigned to any particular group but that it was used not only by
      > those who lived at Qumran but also by nomadic people who visited the area
      > perhaps before the Hasmonean period but certainly through the late Roman,
      > Byzantine and Early Islamic periods.
      > David Stacey
      > Independant scholar
      > UK
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