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Re: Reading the Qumran ink bromine

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  • Trudy Kawami
    I have no dog in this fight, but would like to remind readers that science is logical (or at least good science is :-)) One could certainly conclude from the
    Message 1 of 9 , Apr 3, 2009
      I have no dog in this fight, but would like to remind readers that
      science is logical (or at least good science is :-)) One could certainly
      conclude from the statements quoted below that the bromine-chlorine
      ratio (sorry chlorine-bromine) differed markedly between the inked and
      un-inked surface(s?) that were examined. However, it is a major leap of
      faith to accept this difference as an indication of the area of the
      production of the examined scroll. It may well turn out that the
      high-bromine ink was made locally, but that requires additional steps to
      demonstrate the logical outcome. Fallacious reasoning can undermine
      even correct answers - which would be a pity.

      Trudy Kawami





      >
      > The bromine in the ink of Qumran Cave One Hodayot (a) was not obtained
      after the penning of that scroll, but in the manufacture of the ink with
      high-bromine water. The article* makes this quite clear. See, e.g., page
      100 and Figure 2 on page 105. The measurement of bromine content (in
      ratio with chlorine) began on an uninked spot as indicated on the skin
      and moved in a line into the inked area. At the point where the ink
      began the bromine reading was suddenly quite higher. The bromine in the
      ink is greater than the bromine in the skin. They properly conclude that
      this located "the production of 1QHodayot to the Qumran area."

      P.100: "We observe that the fall of Cl/Br ratio coincides exactly with
      the inked area [plainly visible in Fig. 2]. Since the writing of the
      text, both parchment and ink inscription have undergone the same
      history. Therefore, the composition differences must reflect differences
      between parchment and ink composition before the inscription was made,
      i.e., from their fabrication."


      One may offer another hypothesis, or other measurements, but one who
      offers an hypothesis would do well first to read this paper properly,
      accurately, and not attempt to dismiss it by scenarios which do not
      logically explain the bromine as measured and clearly quantified in this
      Qumran ms ink.
      Stephen Goranson
      > http://www.duke.edu/~goranson <http://www.duke.edu/~goranson>





      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • goranson@duke.edu
      I welcome further measurements and experiments with ink. If it is true that the Dead Sea is the world s largest reservoir of bromine, then this presents a
      Message 2 of 9 , Apr 4, 2009
        I welcome further measurements and experiments with ink. If it is true
        that the Dead Sea is the world's largest reservoir of bromine, then this
        presents a remarkable research opportunity, as the Rabin et al. article (DSD 16
        [2009] 97-106) quite properly and scientifically recognized.

        As for Trudy's suggestion--made after I sent my last post--that, possibly,
        plants burned for soot could have contributed significant (quite high amount)
        bromime to the ink, though I doubt it, I would welcome tests and measurements.
        And, by the way, I would ask, what plants and in what area might have
        such quite high bromine remaining after burning and where would they get such
        putative high bromine? Possibly...Dead Sea water? Small trace amounts don't
        suffice here. I am not a botanist, but I will guess that Dead Sea water has
        more bromine in it than any living plant outside of a Dr. Seuss book.

        As for David's apparent suggestion that 1QH was penned, oh, anywhere as
        long as not Qumran, and brought there whereupon the ink became an amazing wick
        sucking up bromine, markedly more so than the skin, though such was not the
        case with calcium, and though 1QH was in a cave above Qumran, not in a damper
        marl cave below Qumran, and was, reportedly, found in a ceramic jar, a jar
        sealed with a lid, and perhaps within a linen wrapper, well, I wouldn't bet on
        it. But David has. Show me measurements that support that desperate scenario.

        As for differences between the caves above and below Kh. Qumran,
        consider, e.g. Hanan Eshel's article in the current Revue de Qumran 23.4 92
        (2008) 529-31, "A Note on 11QPsalms d Fragment 1, and why that piece of marl,
        with a reverse imprint of writing on it probably didn't come from Cave 11, but
        from a marl cave.

        There's more to be said about scribe's water containers and distinguishing oat
        gall and iron components and inkwells and scribal practices and reed and date
        fibre pens, and questions about the article that have yet gone unremarked, but,
        for now, back to David's demanded scenario of a Herod-built dam.

        If Herod had built a dam (though others could have), why isn't Kh. Qumran
        characteristic of Herod's architectural constructions? If Herod had established
        Qumran as a major supply and manufacturing for export hub, why are there no good
        roads to and from Qumran, according to Gibson, Shimon. "Roads and Passes Round
        Qumran," Palestine Exploration Quarterly 140/3 (2008) 225-227--surely no
        Herod-built roads? Why relatively few Herod coins? Why imagined slaves, men,
        without women slaves? Where are the overseer's finer quarters? No textual
        evidence; no mention of Herod? Proposals that bracket off and ignore evidence
        cannot be relied upon. those who look at archaeology without scrolls (which are
        artifacts) and Josephus, Philo and Pliny, or vice versa, ought not proclaim
        about what they previously excluded from consideration.

        Those who imagine aristocratic Sadducees at non-aristocratic Qumran might to
        well to consider David Flusser, "4QMMT and the Benediction Against the Minim,"
        (tr. by A. Yadin, from Tarbiz) in Judaism of the Second Temple Period (2007),
        pages 79-118. It's not the final word on the subject, but a help with the
        diachronic calculus of names.

        Stephen Goranson
        http://www.duke.edu/~goranson/jannaeus.pdf
        "Jannaeus, His Brother Absalom, and Judah the Essene"
        http://www.duke.edu/~goranson/Essenes_&_Others.pdf
      • dastacey62
        Very simply - if you are going to carry out scientific tests you must test for all possibilities - not reject the chance that organic material absorb bromine
        Message 3 of 9 , Apr 4, 2009
          Very simply - if you are going to carry out scientific tests you must test for all possibilities - not reject the chance that organic material absorb bromine near the Dead Sea for the curious reason that the scroll was one of the first to be bought by Sukenic!

          No scroll has been found by archaeologists in a sealed jar so it is far fetched to assume that the jars were hermetically sealed after 2ooo years in a cave. Crowfoot never questioned that the linen wrappers had absorbed salts. Show me measurements that would prove that parchment does not absorb bromine after 2000 years. And remember that Lake Lisan had a high bromine content and would have flooded all the caves 11000 years ago which would have become saturated in bromine.

          I am not a librarian and the academic library I use has not yet received RevQ for 2008 so I can't comment.

          Archaeologically the dam was built in the time of Herod. It was a substantial building requiring a high level of technological expertise - even Eshel accepts that 'the aqueduct bringing water to the site is short but highly sophisticated, and required the use of Roman measuring instruments and technology' (EncyDSS p232). I have never ever said that "Herod had established
          > Qumran as a major supply and manufacturing for export hub" If you read what I have actually written you will see that I suggest that the site was an industrial suburb of the Jericho estate in the Hasmonean era making things mainly for local consumption. Herod had an ambitious building programme at many sites. He needed to get building supplies and victuals to them and Qumran was conveniently located to act as a distribution centre, providing its water supply was improved to allow for some marginal year round occupation during the finite time he was actually engaged in building eg Masada, Hyrcania, Macaerus and even Herodium. It was a utilitarian building never envisaged for long term permanent occupation.

          Do you deny that Herod had slaves? Josephus mentions many en passant. Not all were household slaves. Perhaps some filled the gap in the large labour force needed to build all his palaces???

          Hasmonean coinage remained in use in Herod's time and is often more plentiful than any coins minted by Herod.

          David Stacey

          --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups.com, goranson@... wrote:
          >
          > I welcome further measurements and experiments with ink. If it is true
          > that the Dead Sea is the world's largest reservoir of bromine, then this
          > presents a remarkable research opportunity, as the Rabin et al. article (DSD 16
          > [2009] 97-106) quite properly and scientifically recognized.
          >
          > As for Trudy's suggestion--made after I sent my last post--that, possibly,
          > plants burned for soot could have contributed significant (quite high amount)
          > bromime to the ink, though I doubt it, I would welcome tests and measurements.
          > And, by the way, I would ask, what plants and in what area might have
          > such quite high bromine remaining after burning and where would they get such
          > putative high bromine? Possibly...Dead Sea water? Small trace amounts don't
          > suffice here. I am not a botanist, but I will guess that Dead Sea water has
          > more bromine in it than any living plant outside of a Dr. Seuss book.
          >
          > As for David's apparent suggestion that 1QH was penned, oh, anywhere as
          > long as not Qumran, and brought there whereupon the ink became an amazing wick
          > sucking up bromine, markedly more so than the skin, though such was not the
          > case with calcium, and though 1QH was in a cave above Qumran, not in a damper
          > marl cave below Qumran, and was, reportedly, found in a ceramic jar, a jar
          > sealed with a lid, and perhaps within a linen wrapper, well, I wouldn't bet on
          > it. But David has. Show me measurements that support that desperate scenario.
          >
          > As for differences between the caves above and below Kh. Qumran,
          > consider, e.g. Hanan Eshel's article in the current Revue de Qumran 23.4 92
          > (2008) 529-31, "A Note on 11QPsalms d Fragment 1, and why that piece of marl,
          > with a reverse imprint of writing on it probably didn't come from Cave 11, but
          > from a marl cave.
          >
          > There's more to be said about scribe's water containers and distinguishing oat
          > gall and iron components and inkwells and scribal practices and reed and date
          > fibre pens, and questions about the article that have yet gone unremarked, but,
          > for now, back to David's demanded scenario of a Herod-built dam.
          >
          > If Herod had built a dam (though others could have), why isn't Kh. Qumran
          > characteristic of Herod's architectural constructions? If Herod had established
          > Qumran as a major supply and manufacturing for export hub, why are there no good
          > roads to and from Qumran, according to Gibson, Shimon. "Roads and Passes Round
          > Qumran," Palestine Exploration Quarterly 140/3 (2008) 225-227--surely no
          > Herod-built roads? Why relatively few Herod coins? Why imagined slaves, men,
          > without women slaves? Where are the overseer's finer quarters? No textual
          > evidence; no mention of Herod? Proposals that bracket off and ignore evidence
          > cannot be relied upon. those who look at archaeology without scrolls (which are
          > artifacts) and Josephus, Philo and Pliny, or vice versa, ought not proclaim
          > about what they previously excluded from consideration.
          >
          > Those who imagine aristocratic Sadducees at non-aristocratic Qumran might to
          > well to consider David Flusser, "4QMMT and the Benediction Against the Minim,"
          > (tr. by A. Yadin, from Tarbiz) in Judaism of the Second Temple Period (2007),
          > pages 79-118. It's not the final word on the subject, but a help with the
          > diachronic calculus of names.
          >
          > Stephen Goranson
          > http://www.duke.edu/~goranson/jannaeus.pdf
          > "Jannaeus, His Brother Absalom, and Judah the Essene"
          > http://www.duke.edu/~goranson/Essenes_&_Others.pdf
          >
        • Jack Kilmon
          ... From: To: Sent: Saturday, April 04, 2009 5:32 AM Subject: Re: [ANE-2] Re: Reading the Qumran ink bromine ... I
          Message 4 of 9 , Apr 5, 2009
            ----- Original Message -----
            From: <goranson@...>
            To: <ANE-2@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Saturday, April 04, 2009 5:32 AM
            Subject: Re: [ANE-2] Re: Reading the Qumran ink bromine


            >I welcome further measurements and experiments with ink. If it is true
            > that the Dead Sea is the world's largest reservoir of bromine, then this
            > presents a remarkable research opportunity, as the Rabin et al. article
            > (DSD 16
            > [2009] 97-106) quite properly and scientifically recognized.
            >
            > As for Trudy's suggestion--made after I sent my last post--that, possibly,
            > plants burned for soot could have contributed significant (quite high
            > amount)
            > bromime to the ink, though I doubt it, I would welcome tests and
            > measurements.
            > And, by the way, I would ask, what plants and in what area might have
            > such quite high bromine remaining after burning and where would they get
            > such
            > putative high bromine? Possibly...Dead Sea water? Small trace amounts
            > don't
            > suffice here. I am not a botanist, but I will guess that Dead Sea water
            > has
            > more bromine in it than any living plant outside of a Dr. Seuss book.
            >
            > As for David's apparent suggestion that 1QH was penned, oh, anywhere as
            > long as not Qumran, and brought there whereupon the ink became an amazing
            > wick
            > sucking up bromine, markedly more so than the skin, though such was not
            > the
            > case with calcium, and though 1QH was in a cave above Qumran, not in a
            > damper
            > marl cave below Qumran, and was, reportedly, found in a ceramic jar, a jar
            > sealed with a lid, and perhaps within a linen wrapper, well, I wouldn't
            > bet on
            > it. But David has. Show me measurements that support that desperate
            > scenario.
            >
            > As for differences between the caves above and below Kh. Qumran,
            > consider, e.g. Hanan Eshel's article in the current Revue de Qumran 23.4
            > 92
            > (2008) 529-31, "A Note on 11QPsalms d Fragment 1, and why that piece of
            > marl,
            > with a reverse imprint of writing on it probably didn't come from Cave 11,
            > but
            > from a marl cave.
            >
            > There's more to be said about scribe's water containers and distinguishing
            > oat
            > gall and iron components and inkwells and scribal practices and reed and
            > date
            > fibre pens, and questions about the article that have yet gone unremarked,
            > but,
            > for now, back to David's demanded scenario of a Herod-built dam.
            >
            > If Herod had built a dam (though others could have), why isn't Kh. Qumran
            > characteristic of Herod's architectural constructions? If Herod had
            > established
            > Qumran as a major supply and manufacturing for export hub, why are there
            > no good
            > roads to and from Qumran, according to Gibson, Shimon. "Roads and Passes
            > Round
            > Qumran," Palestine Exploration Quarterly 140/3 (2008) 225-227--surely no
            > Herod-built roads? Why relatively few Herod coins? Why imagined slaves,
            > men,
            > without women slaves? Where are the overseer's finer quarters? No textual
            > evidence; no mention of Herod? Proposals that bracket off and ignore
            > evidence
            > cannot be relied upon. those who look at archaeology without scrolls
            > (which are
            > artifacts) and Josephus, Philo and Pliny, or vice versa, ought not
            > proclaim
            > about what they previously excluded from consideration.
            >
            > Those who imagine aristocratic Sadducees at non-aristocratic Qumran might
            > to
            > well to consider David Flusser, "4QMMT and the Benediction Against the
            > Minim,"
            > (tr. by A. Yadin, from Tarbiz) in Judaism of the Second Temple Period
            > (2007),
            > pages 79-118. It's not the final word on the subject, but a help with the
            > diachronic calculus of names.
            >
            > Stephen Goranson
            > http://www.duke.edu/~goranson/jannaeus.pdf
            > "Jannaeus, His Brother Absalom, and Judah the Essene"
            > http://www.duke.edu/~goranson/Essenes_&_Others.pdf


            I think this is an area that requires a lot of investigation before reaching
            conclusions. I am sure that ink and dye makers in ancient Palestine knew
            the difference between fresh and Dead Sea waters for the manufacture of inks
            and probably the flame retardation of parchments soakes in Dead Sea water.
            Can we be sure that there were not specific recipes for gall inks utilizing
            Dead Sea water? I seem to recall that there was a significant inductry for
            Dead Sea water shipped around the Middle East. What is the earliest use of
            bromine containing salt water for flame retardation with fabrics, leathers,
            etc?

            Jack
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