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Re: Josephus's inkwells

> From:           Jay Treat <treat@ccat.sas.upenn.edu>
> When the exhibition "Scrolls From the Dead Sea: The Ancient Library of
> Qumran and Modern Scholarship" was in Washington, I visited it.  I was
> surprised to see no sign of ink stains inside the inkwell on display. 
> (Granted, it was not possible to examine the inside of the inkwell in
> detail.) Ink is difficult to remove from even a smooth surface like glass,
> and should be nearly impossible to remove from a porous surface like the
> inside of a pottery inkwell. Is it possible that the inkwells never held
> ink? 

This is interesting Jay.  Stephen Goranson reported that
an inkwell found by Steckoll at Qumran in the 1960's 
had ink and that
some of that ink is preserved somewhere.  Unfortunately
there is no context information on that inkwell.  I am
impressed with one of the arguments of my teacher Golb:
if there was scroll-production activity associated with
these inkwells interrupted in 68 CE, why then no
remains of scrolls or scroll material?  
There were remains of texts found in the ruins at Masada.  
Why not on site at Qumran?
By the way, what are the implications of Josephus's seal
found in association with De Vaux's Qumran 
inkwells being in Greek?  What kind of writing activity 
does the presence of a seal with a name in Greek indicate?  

Greg Doudna