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Re: Smoking gun archaeological dating of text deposits in Qumran Cav

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  • GREG Doudna
    The 15 BCE - 6 CE dating of HR2 at Jericho is Netzer/Bar-Nathan s dating used throughout Bar-Nathan s 2002 Jericho pottery volume. I believe 6 CE is based on
    Message 1 of 5 , Jan 28, 2007
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      The 15 BCE - 6 CE dating of HR2 at Jericho is
      Netzer/Bar-Nathan's dating used throughout Bar-Nathan's
      2002 Jericho pottery volume. I believe 6 CE is based
      on the end of the reign of Archeleus and 15 BCE is
      a somewhat arbitrary but reasonable estimate picked
      to represent "mid-reign of Herod the Great". For a
      number of reasons it seems unlikely these dates are
      off by much.

      Even if Bar-Nathan's Jericho HR2 stratum were undated
      the same narrow dating conclusion would be arrived at
      by different and independent means in the following way.
      The "hellenistic" lamps of de Vaux/Qumran, of elongated
      pinched nozzle, Bar-Nathan's Jericho type LP3, are known
      at Qumran and Masada (as well as Jericho) flourishing in
      the second half of 1st BCE without any known examples
      1st CE. But the "Herodian" wheelmade knife-pared lamps,
      Bar-Nathan's Jericho type LP4 (and there has been a lot of
      discussion on this point) are believed to have started last
      decade or so BCE or even possibly 1st decade CE (drawing
      on basic lamp studies, e.g. Barag and Hershkovitz). The
      point being that to get these two lamp types together--as
      Bar-Nathan reports at Jericho--puts the overlap right at
      where Bar-Nathan independently dates HR2 anyway.

      The significance of the Jericho parallel is this: up until
      Bar-Nathan's Jericho pottery publication, the identical
      types of lamps reported found with the scrolls and scroll
      jars in Qumran Cave 1 was regarded as necessarily indicative
      of two time periods, since it was not believed that these
      two lamp types overlapped in time of floruit. The scholarly
      interpretation of the lamp types in Qumran Cave 1 followed
      this sequence:

      1) defined as all Hasmonean scroll deposits with later
      Roman-era intrusions indicated by the later lamps (Albright)
      [1949-1951, consensus]

      2) defined as all First Revolt scroll deposits and pottery
      (both lamp types: de Vaux after first season of Qumran
      excavations in 1951, and anachronistically, Bar-Nathan in
      the Brown University Qumran Archaeology conference
      volume p. 275 ["analysis of the pottery from the Qumran
      caves shows that it, too, does not antedate the
      first century C.E."--it appears Bar-Nathan was unaware
      that her type LP3 lamps, which she dates 1st BCE, were
      found twice in Qumran Cave 1 with the scrolls].
      [1951-1953, consensus--understood differently after
      second excavation season of Qumran in 1953 although
      the original erroneous interpretation was published in DJD 1
      in 1955 due to lag in publication time]

      3) Cave 1 scroll deposits defined as "both" 1st BCE and
      1st CE (lamp types again interpreted as representing
      distinct time periods, with scroll deposits amorphously
      defined as occurring in "both" 1st BCE and 1st CE--if
      the matter of lamps/scrolls relationship in Cave 1 was
      addressed at all).
      [1953-present, consensus.]

      4) proposal that the scroll deposits of Cave 1 are to be
      dated in terms of the 1st BCE lamps, and the "Herodian"
      1st CE lamps are from later intruders and the "Herodian"
      1st CE lamps are from later intruders (a variant of #1).
      (Doudna 1998, 1999, 2002, and Robert Donceel 1998.)
      (Note: the R. Donceel article was published in French
      in a 1998 Kapera Mogilany volume and presented
      important and original primary Qumran lamp data--drawings,
      publication of previously unpublished items, locus numbers,
      analysis, etc.--that has hardly ever been noticed by Qumran
      scholars since. It has simply been ignored. I cannot find so
      much as a single citation of this study outside of my own
      citation of it.)
      [1998-present, not consensus]

      5) based on analogy with the Jericho finds of both lamp
      types in contemporary use c. 15 BCE - 6 CE, we are freed
      now to consider again that the lamps in Cave 1 are also
      contemporary suggesting the dating of the scroll deposits
      in Cave 1 with which the lamps appear to be associated.
      [new, now]

      Greg Doudna



      >How is it possible to archeologically "careful"ly date something to an
      >absolute 20-year period? --
      >Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...

      >>The point is this--the smoking gun: Bar-Nathan reports the Jericho
      >>excavators found both the 'hellenistic' lamps [de Vaux's terminology] and
      >>the 'Herodian' bow-spouted lamps together in the same locus in an HR2
      >>context, that is (per the Jericho excavators' careful dating): 15 BCE-6
      >>CE.

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    • GREG Doudna
      Perhaps remotely possible but does not seem very likely. This reminds me of Barbara Thiering s explanation for earlier-than-1st CE radiocarbon dates on some of
      Message 2 of 5 , Jan 28, 2007
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        Perhaps remotely possible but does not seem very likely.
        This reminds me of Barbara Thiering's explanation for
        earlier-than-1st CE radiocarbon dates on some of her key
        texts (many of which she sees as 1st CE compositions): they
        were written on *old animal skins*! (The frugal Essene
        explanation: Josephus says the Essenes wore out their
        clothes and sandals. Therefore, Thiering argues by extrapolation,
        the Essenes would have saved fresh, brand-new animal skins
        for a century or so before first using them to write on.
        Hence 1st CE compositions, and 1st BCE radiocarbon dates.)

        Consider that of nearly two dozen or so published finds of
        these long-spouted, pinched-nozzle "hellenistic lamps" (as
        de Vaux termed them), at Qumran, Jericho, and Masada, all,
        without exception, are reported found in the second half of
        1st BCE, and none at all are reported found in 1st CE contexts.
        If these lamps were not being used anywhere else in 1st CE
        decades after their time of their floruit, how likely is it that that
        would be the case solely in Qumran Cave 1? It seems these
        clay lamps were not like heirlooms or antiques to be preserved
        through generations but were more like inexpensive disposable
        Bic lighters to be used and then discarded.

        Furthermore, in the 1998 Robert Donceel lamp study I noted in
        my reply to Daniels (R. Donceel, "Poursuite des travaux de
        publication du materiel archeologique de Khirbet Qumran.
        Les lampes en terre-cuite," in Z. Kapera, ed., _Mogilany 1995.
        Papers on the Dead Sea Scrolls offered in memory of Aleksy
        Klawek_ [Qumranica Mogilanensia 15; Cracow: Enigma Press),
        pp. 87-104) ... Donceel shows that the two "hellenistic"
        lamps found in Cave 1 with the scrolls were made from the
        same workshop [plausibly Qumran itself] which produced lamps
        found at the site of Qumran in 1st century BCE contexts.

        Therefore while not meaning to make light of your legitimate
        question or comment, the above are the reasons why
        I consider this possibility not very likely.

        Greg Doudna



        >Isn't the best we can say about this is that who ever deposited the scrolls
        >in Cave 1 **used** lamps that were made at the same time as those found in
        >Jericho?
        >
        >There are lamps in my flat that I use that I've inherited from my parents
        >and which are well over 70 years old. If someone found them next to my book
        >shelves
        >(which only went up five years ago), would they be correct to conclude that
        >the books on them were placed there in the 1930s?
        >
        >Jeffrey Gibson

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      • goranson@duke.edu
        It is not true that everyone, until 1951, thought the Qumran scrolls were deposited in the first century BCE. I have given examples before. Here is another.
        Message 3 of 5 , Jan 29, 2007
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          It is not true that everyone, until 1951, thought the Qumran scrolls were
          deposited in the first century BCE. I have given examples before. Here is
          another. Andre Dupont-Sommer in 1950 in a work in French on 1QpHab wrote about
          a circa 70 CE deposit date. And his view was repeated in the Spectator,
          (reportedly) in the Manchester Guardian, and in another (UK) publication the
          name of which escapes me at the moment. I could provide more details, if it
          appeared worthwhile.

          Stephen Goranson
          http://www.duke.edu/~goranson
        • Peter T. Daniels
          So, let s see if I get this right. First, you re telling us that it never occurred to archeologists that, as Jeffrey Gibson noted, people might keep using some
          Message 4 of 5 , Jan 29, 2007
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            So, let's see if I get this right. First, you're telling us that it never occurred to archeologists that, as Jeffrey Gibson noted, people might keep using some lamps they already had after a new style came along? (Which is why no one realized that the two styles could represent not separate deposits, but a period of overlap in use?) The Ford Motor Co. would not be in the trouble it is if their marketing people could get consumers to buy a new car whenever they felt like introducing a new style -- those Palestinian potters must've had incomparable advertising techniques!

            Second, how does "end of the reign of Archeleus" provide a date for an archeological deposit, absolute or not? And how does "a somewhat arbitrary but reasonable estimate picked to represent 'mid-reign of Herod the Great'".enable you to state that an archeological deposit happened within a precise absolute 20-year period?

            Maybe this is all covered in Archeology 101, but it sure seems unlikely. Please assure me that conclusions drawn on the basis of linguistic evidence don't strike outsiders as equally improbable?
            --
            Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...

            ----- Original Message ----
            From: GREG Doudna <gdoudna@...>
            To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Sunday, January 28, 2007 11:57:28 PM
            Subject: [ANE-2] Re: Smoking gun archaeological dating of text deposits in Qumran Cav


            The 15 BCE - 6 CE dating of HR2 at Jericho is
            Netzer/Bar-Nathan' s dating used throughout Bar-Nathan's
            2002 Jericho pottery volume. I believe 6 CE is based
            on the end of the reign of Archeleus and 15 BCE is
            a somewhat arbitrary but reasonable estimate picked
            to represent "mid-reign of Herod the Great". For a
            number of reasons it seems unlikely these dates are
            off by much.

            Even if Bar-Nathan's Jericho HR2 stratum were undated
            the same narrow dating conclusion would be arrived at
            by different and independent means in the following way.
            The "hellenistic" lamps of de Vaux/Qumran, of elongated
            pinched nozzle, Bar-Nathan's Jericho type LP3, are known
            at Qumran and Masada (as well as Jericho) flourishing in
            the second half of 1st BCE without any known examples
            1st CE. But the "Herodian" wheelmade knife-pared lamps,
            Bar-Nathan's Jericho type LP4 (and there has been a lot of
            discussion on this point) are believed to have started last
            decade or so BCE or even possibly 1st decade CE (drawing
            on basic lamp studies, e.g. Barag and Hershkovitz) . The
            point being that to get these two lamp types together--as
            Bar-Nathan reports at Jericho--puts the overlap right at
            where Bar-Nathan independently dates HR2 anyway.

            <...>
          • GREG Doudna
            Peter, the interpretation of archaeology in terms of literary texts, with conjecture piled on top of conjecture and overstated conclusions, has a long and
            Message 5 of 5 , Jan 29, 2007
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              Peter, the interpretation of archaeology in terms of
              literary texts, with conjecture piled on top of conjecture
              and overstated conclusions, has a long and honorable
              tradition. How dare you, an outsider, call it into question!

              I'm being ironic there of course. As for your specific
              questioning of Netzer's and Bar-Nathan's Jericho stratigraphy,
              though I don't myself dispute their dating of Jericho HR2,
              I agree with you that Bar-Nathan is not above criticism.
              For example, in her recently published Masada volume--so
              excellent in categorizing the finds at Masada and a
              monumental work comparable to the Jericho pottery
              volume--on the basis of finding several "scroll jar" types in
              zealot contexts at Masada similar to the ones found in large
              numbers at the site of Qumran (many from 1st BCE) and
              the caves of Qumran and at Jericho in HR1 (30-15 BCE) ...
              Bar-Nathan concludes that ALL of the scroll jars in the caves
              at Qumran and ALL of the activity in the Qumran caves
              occurred within the seven-year period "66-73/74 C.E." !

              Which she further goes on to say was therefore after
              the site of Qumran was destroyed c. 60 CE !

              Talk about pinpoint dating and unjustified conclusions !
              Here is Bar-Nathan:

              "On the basis of the pottery, the cave [sic--caves at
              Qumran] is dated 66-73/74 C.E., whereas according
              to Humbert (2003), the site was destroyed and its
              population dispersed ca. 60 C.E. It therefore seems
              there is no correlation between the pottery in the
              caves and the settlement [at Qumran]."
              (Bar-Nathan, Masada volume 2006, page 71)

              (The reference to Humbert 2003 appears to be a
              misunderstanding on the part of Bar-Nathan, since there
              is nothing in that article of Humbert indicating he is
              unconventional on the 68 CE usual date. There is an
              accompanying chart in Humbert's article that can be
              read in the way Bar-Nathan does, but that seems
              almost surely a misunderstanding of Humbert's intention.)

              In short, I agree with you that claims of archaeologists
              can go off the rails in drawing unjustified conclusions.

              Greg Doudna



              >Second, how does "end of the reign of Archeleus" provide
              >a date for an archaeological deposit, absolute or not? And
              >how does "a somewhat arbitrary but reasonable estimate
              >picked to represent 'mid-reign of Herod the Great' enable
              >you to state that an archaeological deposit happened within a precise
              >absolute 20-year period?
              >
              > Maybe this is all covered in Archaeology 101, but it sure seems
              >unlikely. Please assure me that conclusions drawn on the
              >basis of linguistic evidence don't strike outsiders as equally
              >improbable?
              >--
              >Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...

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