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more on inkwells and date palm pens

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  • goranson@duke.edu
    Though we discussed inkwells and pens before, here s some new data and new bibliography, along with older context. Some suggested we compare inkwells from
    Message 1 of 2 , May 2, 2009
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      Though we discussed inkwells and pens before, here's some new data and
      new bibliography, along with older context.

      Some suggested we compare inkwells from Qumran with those later, fewer
      ones from Shuafat (North Jerusalem), even while presenting inaccurate counts.
      E.g., though Juhana Saukkonen, "A Few Inkwells, Many Hands: Were There Scribes
      at Qumran', 538-53 in Houses Full of All Good Things: Essays in Memory of Timo
      Veijola (Helsinki, 2008) cited Magen and Peleg, he did not count the Qumran
      inkwell that they report in that very citation!
      Shu'fat has been published only preliminarily (Hadashot 117, 118; Bar Ilan
      Jerusalem 29004). Reportedly, the mold made Shu'afat inkwells are identical to
      an inkwell published by J. Magness in Excavations on the Site of the
      Jerusalem...Binyanei Ha'uma: The Pottery and Other Small Finds (2005) page 154
      and Fig 33 no. 3 on p. 156. That Jerusalem inkwell was produced at the Roman
      Army Tenth Legion's kilnworks. If it turns out that the Shufat inkwells were
      purchased from the Tenth Legion kiln, may we assume that the people (if not a
      mixed group) who lived at Shuafat (with Roman style baths as well as stone
      vessels) were a different type population than those who lived, before the
      First Revolt, at Qumran, with more and different type (as noted by Yael Olnick)
      inkwells? In other words, if one claims Shuafat residents were Hellenized
      Sadducees, and if that were true, then the Qumran group would be indeed
      something other, not Sadducees (say Essenes)?

      Date palm fiber has been used according to W.M.F. Petrie, Objects of
      Daily Use (v. 42, British School of Archaeology in Egypt, 1927) as a
      palm fiber pen. For a photo of a palm column shaped pen holder:

      http://preview.tinyurl.com/cygjqt

      Many conclude that in Egypt there was a scribal tool development from
      use of rush brushes to reed pens. E.g., A. Lucas and J.R. Harris, Ancient
      Egyptian Materials and Industries, 4th ed 1962, 364f; W.J. Tait, Rush
      and Reed: the Pens of Egyptian and Greek Scribes, Proc. XVIII Int.Cong. Papy.
      v.2, 477f; Willy Clarysse, "Egyptian Scribes Writing Greek," Chronique d'Egypt
      68 (1993) 186f; Joan Ashton, Scribal habits in the ancient near
      east: c.3000 BCE to the emergence of the Codex (Sydney, 2008), though Peter T.
      Daniels JNES 43 (1984) 60f placed hard reed pen writing earlier than
      others, at 5th-century Elephantine. How might palm material fit into this
      development? Apart from palm leaf texts, and palm brushes for painting, I find
      only occasional reference to palm pens, to add to Petrie and the Schoyen
      collection pen.
      The vegetable kingdom; or, The structure, classification, and uses of plants
      ..., John Lindley 1853, Page 137 [Google Books, context available there]:
      "The midribs of the side leaves [from a type of palm] are converted into pens
      called Pansuri...."
      Do listmembers have additional information on date palm material pens?


      Stephen Goranson
      http://www.duke.edu/~goranson
      ps. a precursor to the Golb charged, alleged sockpuppet was Ian
      Hutchesson, also with aliases used here and in private mail.
    • dastacey62
      Stephen, Surely anyone needing an inkwell would get it from the nearest manufacturer or are you really suggesting that different types of population would
      Message 2 of 2 , May 3, 2009
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        Stephen, Surely anyone needing an inkwell would get it from the nearest manufacturer or are you really suggesting that 'different types' of population would restrict themselves to only certain types of inkwell?

        You want to suggest that because a number of inkwells have been found at Qumran it is proof that they were used for writing scrolls there despite the fact that at least one of them, and thus possibly more, has been identified as of local manufacture. As those in Shu'afat had to be especially 'imported' does this indicate that, one day, we might find a library of locally written documents there? And, as a corollary, if a site does not yield any inkwells e.g. Second Temple Jericho, Masada, can we assume that its occupants were illiterate?

        As far as I understand from the person responsible for the publication of the pottery (not just the inkwells) from Shu'afat the main corpus of comparable material comes from the as yet unpublished Roman Villa in Jericho and .... a certain amountfrom Qumran.

        David Stacey


        --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups.com, goranson@... wrote:
        >
        > Though we discussed inkwells and pens before, here's some new data and
        > new bibliography, along with older context.
        >
        > Some suggested we compare inkwells from Qumran with those later, fewer
        > ones from Shuafat (North Jerusalem), even while presenting inaccurate counts.
        > E.g., though Juhana Saukkonen, "A Few Inkwells, Many Hands: Were There Scribes
        > at Qumran', 538-53 in Houses Full of All Good Things: Essays in Memory of Timo
        > Veijola (Helsinki, 2008) cited Magen and Peleg, he did not count the Qumran
        > inkwell that they report in that very citation!
        > Shu'fat has been published only preliminarily (Hadashot 117, 118; Bar Ilan
        > Jerusalem 29004). Reportedly, the mold made Shu'afat inkwells are identical to
        > an inkwell published by J. Magness in Excavations on the Site of the
        > Jerusalem...Binyanei Ha'uma: The Pottery and Other Small Finds (2005) page 154
        > and Fig 33 no. 3 on p. 156. That Jerusalem inkwell was produced at the Roman
        > Army Tenth Legion's kilnworks. If it turns out that the Shufat inkwells were
        > purchased from the Tenth Legion kiln, may we assume that the people (if not a
        > mixed group) who lived at Shuafat (with Roman style baths as well as stone
        > vessels) were a different type population than those who lived, before the
        > First Revolt, at Qumran, with more and different type (as noted by Yael Olnick)
        > inkwells? In other words, if one claims Shuafat residents were Hellenized
        > Sadducees, and if that were true, then the Qumran group would be indeed
        > something other, not Sadducees (say Essenes)?
        >
        > Date palm fiber has been used according to W.M.F. Petrie, Objects of
        > Daily Use (v. 42, British School of Archaeology in Egypt, 1927) as a
        > palm fiber pen. For a photo of a palm column shaped pen holder:
        >
        > http://preview.tinyurl.com/cygjqt
        >
        > Many conclude that in Egypt there was a scribal tool development from
        > use of rush brushes to reed pens. E.g., A. Lucas and J.R. Harris, Ancient
        > Egyptian Materials and Industries, 4th ed 1962, 364f; W.J. Tait, Rush
        > and Reed: the Pens of Egyptian and Greek Scribes, Proc. XVIII Int.Cong. Papy.
        > v.2, 477f; Willy Clarysse, "Egyptian Scribes Writing Greek," Chronique d'Egypt
        > 68 (1993) 186f; Joan Ashton, Scribal habits in the ancient near
        > east: c.3000 BCE to the emergence of the Codex (Sydney, 2008), though Peter T.
        > Daniels JNES 43 (1984) 60f placed hard reed pen writing earlier than
        > others, at 5th-century Elephantine. How might palm material fit into this
        > development? Apart from palm leaf texts, and palm brushes for painting, I find
        > only occasional reference to palm pens, to add to Petrie and the Schoyen
        > collection pen.
        > The vegetable kingdom; or, The structure, classification, and uses of plants
        > ..., John Lindley 1853, Page 137 [Google Books, context available there]:
        > "The midribs of the side leaves [from a type of palm] are converted into pens
        > called Pansuri...."
        > Do listmembers have additional information on date palm material pens?
        >
        >
        > Stephen Goranson
        > http://www.duke.edu/~goranson
        > ps. a precursor to the Golb charged, alleged sockpuppet was Ian
        > Hutchesson, also with aliases used here and in private mail.
        >
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