The Dead Sea Scrolls

ramonmercado

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Archaeologists find 12th Dead Sea Scrolls cave
February 8, 2017 by Dov Smith in Other Sciences / Archaeology & Fossils

Excavations in a cave on the cliffs west of Qumran, near the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea, prove that Dead Sea scrolls from the Second Temple period were hidden in the cave, and were looted by Bedouins in the middle of the last century. With the discovery of this cave, scholars now suggest that it should be numbered as Cave 12.

The surprising discovery, representing a milestone in Dead Sea Scroll research, was made by Dr. Oren Gutfeld and Ahiad Ovadia from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem's Institute of Archaeology, with the help of Dr. Randall Price and students from Liberty University in Virginia USA.

The excavators are the first in over 60 years to discover a new scroll cave and to properly excavate it.

The excavation was supported by the Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria, by the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, and the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), and is a part of the new "Operation Scroll" launched at the IAA by its Director-General, Mr. Israel Hasson, to undertake systematic surveys and to excavate the caves in the Judean Desert.

Excavation of the cave revealed that at one time it contained Dead Sea scrolls. Numerous storage jars and lids from the Second Temple period were found hidden in niches along the walls of the cave and deep inside a long tunnel at its rear. The jars were all broken and their contents removed, and the discovery towards the end of the excavation of a pair of iron pickaxe heads from the 1950s (stored within the tunnel for later use) proves the cave was looted. ...

https://phys.org/news/2017-02-archaeologists-12th-dead-sea-scrolls.html
 

Graylien

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I watched a couple of documentaries on Youtube about the scrolls recently. I think they were sourced from The History Channel.

They claimed the site was a pottery factory rather than an Essene settlement. Also that the scrolls might have been saved from the Temple of Jerusalem just prior to its destruction in 70 CE.
 

EnolaGaia

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One of the scrolls, originally discovered in 1952, has now been reconstructed from small fragments and decoded ...

Dead Sea Scroll Remains a Puzzle After Scientists Crack its Code
Scholars have deciphered a Dead Sea Scroll written in a Hebrew code, finding that it contains part of a 364-day calendar of holy days.

The calendar notes the day of Sabbaths, the start of seasons and the days of festivals and feasts. The scribe, who went to the trouble of writing the scroll in code, forgot to include the Day of Atonement (known as Yom Kippur) on the calendar; but another scribe, who apparently understood the code, inserted that day onto the calendar.

The scroll, made out of leather, also contains a short note explaining that the Offerings of Wood festival should be held over six days, with two trees being offered to god on each of those days. [See Images of the Dead Sea Scrolls]

Scholars still aren't sure why this scroll, along with a few other Dead Sea Scrolls, were written in code.

.. The newly deciphered scroll is from what archaeologists call "cave four," which was discovered by the Bedouin people in 1952. Until now, this Dead Sea Scroll was one of only a few scrolls that had not been fully deciphered and described in the scientific literature, researchers said.
FULL STORY: https://www.livescience.com/61510-dead-sea-scroll-decoded.html
 

Kingsize Wombat

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A bit of a bomb shell announcement:

Museum of the Bible says five of its Dead Sea Scrolls fragments are forgeries

The Museum of the Bible has announced that five of its most prized artefacts – valuable fragments in its collection of Dead Sea Scrolls – are forgeries that will no longer be displayed at the museum in Washington DC.

Researchers in Germany tested five of the museum’s 16 fragments, bought by the billionaire businessman and museum founder Steve Green, and determining they showed “characteristics inconsistent with ancient origin”.

The announcement follows revelations in the Guardian last year that cast doubt about the authenticity of recently sold fragments, including those purchased by Green, and highlighted the ad hoc nature of modern day trade in the purported artefacts. Individual fragments have sold for seven-figure sums, although it is not known how much Green paid for the museum’s collection.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2...ble-dead-sea-scrolls-fragments-forgeries-fake

So I always thought all of the Dead Sea Scrolls were in the hands of researchers? How many of these supposed fragments are being traded around the place?
 
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EnolaGaia

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... So I always thought all of the Dead Sea Scrolls were in the hands of researchers? How many of these supposed fragments are being traded around the place?
The label 'Dead Sea Scrolls' originally referred to a specific set of scrolls found in one place circa 70 years ago. Since then, a number of other scrolls (and / or scroll fragments) have been discovered in other caves in the same area.

There's no guarantee that all these different caches were stored away by the same parties, at the same time, or for the same purpose(s).

Nonetheless, the entire population of such artifacts are still lumped together as 'the Dead Sea Scrolls'.

Some of the artifacts have been discovered by private parties and sold into private hands. The provenance of such artifacts is subject to question, particularly in a case where extraordinary value is attributed to them.

The ones held by the overall research community are spread across multiple institutions in multiple nations.
 

Kingsize Wombat

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Images of the Scrolls I've seen show them as mainly clumps of papier-mâché,surely not easy to forge. Someone close to the originals must be involved if they're good enough to have fooled the experts.
A link to another Guardian article provides the answers here:

Bedouin shepherds stumbled on jars containing the first scrolls in the mid-1940s. Thinking them of little value, they sold on pieces of their find to a Palestinian Christian cobbler and part-time antiquities dealer, Khalil Eskander Shahin, nicknamed Kando.

For years an association between the Kando family and the scrolls was seen as a stamp of authenticity in a trade peopled by flamboyant scholars and elusive middlemen.

In the early noughties, dozens of new fragments began to enter the market after Kando’s son, William, unlocked a family vault in Zurich.
And so, it seems, said son provided most of these fragments. Of course he protests his innocence.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2...s-awash-with-suspected-forgeries-experts-warn
 

escargot

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Came across the 1965 exhibition catalogue. Picked it up a few years ago from a boot sale with a pile of stuff to cut up for art projects.

This exhibition was all over the news at the time. I didn't get to see it but we were taught about it at school.
The world has had plenty of time to learn how to make fakes!15417561720741633100252.jpg
 

ramonmercado

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Literally salted away.

Decades after the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in desert caves, the ancient manuscripts are still offering surprises.

Chemical analysis of the Temple Scroll, the longest of the scrolls, has revealed a salty coating on the text side of the scroll that hasn’t been previously found on the others. This unusual finish suggests that the Temple Scroll’s remarkably bright parchment was manufactured differently from other documents in the collection, researchers report online September 6 in Science Advances.

It’s not yet clear how the mineral coating may have contributed to the Temple Scroll’s striking appearance, says Admir Masic, a materials scientist at MIT. But understanding the properties of this manuscript and others like it could inform strategies for preserving these 2,000-year-old documents, which include sections of the Hebrew Bible, as well as help in spotting forgeries.

Masic and colleagues scrutinized a small fragment of the Temple Scroll using X-ray and Raman spectroscopy. These techniques involve shining radiation on a sample and measuring the light that emanates back out to map the material’s chemical composition.

https://www.sciencenews.org/article..._medium=email&utm_campaign=editorspicks090819
 

Comfortably Numb

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I find the DSS fascinating...
Absolutely. Still have many a related documentary from years past - all on video tape!

Can't find a clearcut answer to this online; anyone maybe help here?

What is the current conclusion about their age, i.e., how many years after the purpored events were they written?
 

Comfortably Numb

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Pivotal concepts in Christianity, really.
Talking to some fundamentallly religious folks recently.

In response to their endeavours of persuasion, one enquired...

'If somebody isn't scared of death/its aftermath and they're not beseeching any help whilst alive, then why would they require a religion...'?
 

EnolaGaia

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... Can't find a clearcut answer to this online; anyone maybe help here?
What is the current conclusion about their age, i.e., how many years after the purpored events were they written?
It depends on how broad or narrow a set of scrolls you specify. They weren't all produced the same way by the same parties at the same time.

The classic set of scrolls first given the label "Dead Sea Scrolls" (e.g., the famous 1940's / 1950's discoveries) are commonly claimed to date from as early as the 3rd or 4th century BCE up to as late as the 2nd or 3rd century CE.

The broader set of scrolls and fragments from the Qumran area, including additional discoveries since the 1940s, span a timeframe claimed to extend as far back as the 10th or 11th century BCE and as late as the 8th to 10th century CE.

If I recall correctly, the "safe consensus" for the classic set (the timespan all the competing claims accommodate if overlaid / intersected) extends from the 2nd century BCE to the 1st or 2nd century CE.
 

EnolaGaia

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A bit of a bomb shell announcement:
Museum of the Bible says five of its Dead Sea Scrolls fragments are forgeries
Update ...

Further analysis has apparently confirmed that all of the DSS fragments in the Museum of the Bible collection are 20th century fakes.

(NOTE: The cited news story doesn't specify how many fragments are in the complete collection.)
Museum of the Bible's Dead Sea Scrolls are fake, analysis shows

An art fraud investigation team announced Friday that none of the Museum of the Bible's Dead Sea Scrolls fragments is genuine.

The results of the third-party scientific analysis by Art Fraud Insights came more than a year after the museum determined that five of its fragments were fake and removed them from exhibition.

"After an exhaustive review of all the imaging and scientific analysis results, it is evident that none of the textual fragments in Museum of the Bible's Dead Sea Scroll collection are authentic," said Colette Loll, founder and director of Art Fraud Insights. "Moreover, each exhibits characteristics that suggest they are deliberate forgeries created in the 20th century with the intent to mimic authentic Dead Sea Scroll fragments." ...
FULL STORY: https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/202...crolls-are-fake-analysis-shows/2531584144569/
 

EnolaGaia

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EnolaGaia

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The Museum of the Bible (MOTB) itself is due credit for being open about this embarrassing story.

Here's the MOTB overview of the project:

A Journey for the Truth: Investigating the Recent Dead Sea Scrolls Fragments
https://museumofthebible.org/dead-sea-scroll-fragments

That overview webpage contains a link by which you can download the 200-page final research report:

FINAL REPORT |NOVEMBER 2019 Museum of the Bible
Dead Sea Scroll Collection Scientific Research and Analysis


https://d2f7x7uhr2xem7.cloudfront.net/sixteen_by_nine/MOTB-DSS-Report-FINAL-web.pdf
 

EnolaGaia

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This doesn't add much to the textual corpus, but it serves to cue researchers that seemingly blank scroll fragments may not be blank at all.
'Blank' Dead Sea Scrolls have hidden letters on them

Four Dead Sea Scroll fragments, previously thought to be blank, are anything but: Detailed imaging has revealed that these ancient pieces of parchment contain letters, sewn thread, ruled lines and even a discernible word, new research finds.

The finding almost went unnoticed, until Joan Taylor, a professor of Christian origins and Second Temple Judaism at King's College London, took a magnifying glass to these fragments and noticed that there was a "lamed," the Hebrew letter for "L," written on one of them.

At the time, Taylor said she thought that she "might be imagining things. But then it seemed maybe other fragments could have very faded letters too," she said in a statement. ...

Taylor's hunch paid off. One of the four fragments had four lines of text, with a total of 15 to 16 completely or partially preserved letters. One word, "Shabbat," the Hebrew word for "Sabbath," is clearly visible, and this clue, as well as several other letters, suggest that this fragment might be from the biblical book of Ezekiel (46:1-3). ...
FULL STORY: https://www.livescience.com/dead-sea-scroll-fragments-text.html
 
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