Qumran tour; Qumran coin mix-up; etc.
- 1) For a Virtual Tour and discussion of Qumran via Orion Center for the
Study of the Dead Sea Scrolls see
2) Are there any reviews yet of Kenneth Lönnqvist, New perspectives on the
Roman coinage on the eastern limes in the late republican and Roman imperial
period (Saarbrücken : VDM Verlag Dr. Müller, 2009)? The book includes: a
proposal to redate the tenure of Pontius Pilate starting years earlier than
commonly thought (based on lead maybe diverted from coins to aqueduct use); a
redating of a Qumran silver coin later based on a countermark that is not clear
in the photograph; and much other coin data. I question his proposed redating of
the Qumran silver coin hoards as late as the 4tn century CE, based on Roman
coins. De Vaux gave the coins to Henri Seyrig. After Seyrig, Fr. A. Spijkerman
ofm made some corrections to the list. De Vaux in Archaeology and the DSS
still, with their information, dates the last silver coin in the three-pot
hoard to 9/8 BCE. No one disputes that the 3 coin hoards were mixed up and that
some coins are lost. Lönnqvist does note that he has not seen Seyrig's list. I
find it hard to believe that de Vaux and Seyrig and Spijkerman all failed to
identify Roman coins with the emperor's names on them. Are the coins now
further mixed up?
3) An article with analysis of Qumran space that could be usefully added to the
E. Regev Qumran BASOR 335 (2009) article "Access Analysis of Khirbet Qumran"
Strange, James F., and James Riley Strange. "The Archaeology of Everyday Life
at Qumran." In Judaism in Late Antiquity, Part V. The Judaism of Qumran: A
Systemic Reading of the Dead Sea Scrolls, ed. Alan J. Avery-Peck et al.,
1:45-73. Handbook of Oriental Studies: Abt.1, The Near and Middle East 56.
Boston: Brill, 2001.
4) Recently, we've seen research that shows some Qumran ms ink with high bromine
content, indicating a relationship to Dead Sea area water (including Feshkha);
and Qumran writing surface with Nubian ibex DNA, a wild animal whose range
included the west Dead Sea coast but not Jerusalem; and Yardeni's "Qumran
scribe" analysis. Yardeni suggests as many as 90 mss from Caves 1, 2, 3, 4, 6,
8, and 11 are from one Qumran scribe. When you subtract from 900+ mss all the
Greek texts (Cave 7 etc.), all those too small to analyze (Caves 9 and 10
etc.), paleoHebrew, (semi-) cursive and cryptic scripts--if she's right--that's
really remarkable, and dismisses unsubstantiated claims of 500 hands. Given a
choice of the caves being related, rather than from many, unrelated, distant
collections, Occam's razor is a help.
5) Joan E. Taylor "'Roots, Remedies and Properties of Stones': The Essenes,
Qumran and Dead Sea Pharmacology," JJS 60.2 (Autumn 2009) 226-44 gathers much
useful information, as her publications often do, but includes misleading claims
about the name "Essenes," mixing up what some outsiders came to use as if a
proof of a non-self-designation, despite Josephus 15, despite Syriac
sources--no, all extant ancient sources--never calling Essenes "healers," and
despite the attested Qumran mss self-designations, and much else.
I've been working on English etymologies and names over the last few years (and
have made some progress on Hooligan [originally a self-designation], whole nine
yards, Limerick (verse), Murphy's law, lies and statistics, copasetic, full
Monty, etc.) partly because one can more quickly antedate and check the history
of scholarship than in ancient cases. Name histories (especially of
controversial groups) have their own characteristics. Evidence is increasing
about the Essenes at Qumran and elsewhere.
on the Essene name's Hebrew origin: