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Re: Qumran location as a military installation (fwd)

> At least two if not more discussants keep telling us about something they call
> a "scriptORUM."  Shouldn't this be *scriptorium*?   "ScriptORUM" (which is
> genitive plural in form) looks like the second word of a two-word phrase,
> as, for instance, "cursus honorum."  So what's the missing first word?  Or was
> this just a "lapsus calamorum" (since more than one electronic pen is obviously
> involved here)?  If, as I suspect, we are speaking of a scriptORIUM, let's
> get it right.

Perhaps more to the point, (and the point is hardly original with me)
should we use a technical term from monastic life to describe this
structure? The few inkwells found there might indicate scribal activity in
the room, but the notion that the room's "benches" and "tables" would have
functioned as in the medieval scriptoria does not jibe with what I am told
about antique scribal practices, which involved resting the texts on the
scribe's lap. 

Would those expert in ancient scribal practice care to comment?  What's
the current status of the argument that the wide variety of hands and
practices at Qumran suggest that only a very limited number of the
documents could have been copied there? How many documents would, for the 
sake of comparison, a productive Medieval monk have left behind in his 

Seth L. Sanders
Dept. of Near Eastern Studies
The Johns Hopkins University