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Re: inkwells, etc.

Stephen Goranson wrote:
Some of that writing went into the caves nearby.
There is no possible way of knowing this. Even if the ink found in the
inkwells exactly matches that of some of the scrolls, it proves nothing. Many
scribes probably used similar, if not exactly the same ingredients, in their
ink and processed the ingredients again in similar, if not exactly the same,
ways. Connecting the inkwells to the scrolls is pure theory, not fact.
      If we are to date the inkwells to circa 68 CE, I would suggest that
they probably are actually from circa 70 CE and may have been used by Romans
sending messages from the area of the siege of Masada. The complex at Qumran
must have been more comfortable than any temporary camp at Masada would have
been. Is this not a possibility? Of course, I really don't know the evidence
on this one way or the other, but logically, it seems reasonable. There need
not have been a large presence of soldiers if the site were simply taken over
and then used as a message station. 
    This brings up another question that I have been wondering, when people
fled from Jerusalem to Masada and when the Romans marched to Masada, did they
use a route approximating the modern road from Jerusalem? If so, I think that
the use of Qumran as a relay station during the siege makes sense. If it was
way out of the way, it obviously doesn't.

Just a few thoughts,
-David Jay Kaufman
HUC-JIR Jerusalem
Rabbinical Student