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Re: Multiplicity of Scribal Hands

On Wed, 30 Oct 1996, Asia Lerner wrote:

> On Tue, 29 Oct 1996, David W. Suter wrote:
> > 
> > Bob,
> > 
> > Has any initial DNA testing been done?  I had heard of it being suggested 
> > but had not seen any reports of actual tests.
> What would be the point of such tests? To see whether the parchments came
> from the same goat?
> 	Best, Asia

Typical practice in goat breeding would lead to herds that have a high 
degree of genetic similarity among individuals in the herd.  The does are 
valued for milk and must be bred once a year to maintain production, but 
this only requires a single buck for a large number of does.  Most buck 
kids are therefore used for food, while many of the the does in a single 
herd are likely to be half sisters or show a fairly close genetic 
relationship (this could extend to a general area, depending upon how 
bucks were kept for breeding purposes and how far one would take a doe 
to be bred).  If a variety of scrolls showed genetic 
similarity, it would suggest that the scrolls are the result of 
production in one locality.  If they showed genetic diversity, the 
chances of diverse origin are much higher.

Sheep breeding practices might have been somewhat different, but one 
would guess that there would still be genetic similarity in a local area.

Is it possible to determine is there is diversity in the kinds of skins 
used or techniques of preparation?


David Suter
Saint Martin's College