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Re: Multiplicity of Scribal Hands

Our Biology prof thinks that dna might not have survived the tanning 
process; however, the massing of small observations about the physical 
characteristics of the scrolls, jars, etc., might provide useful 
information, if such is not already being done.

David Suter
Saint Martin's College

On Wed, 30 Oct 1996, Frederick Cryer wrote:

> Well, the DNA testing would tell us whether all the animals came from 
> the same herd, but in the event that might not tell us all that much, 
> given that ANE temples had quite extensive herds, and the same may 
> have been the case in ancient Juda (cf. Amos 1,1); so a single large 
> herd could as easily be that of the temple in Jerusalem as the local 
> herd kept by the fabled "community". But of course *differences* in 
> DNA background would point to a multiplicity of herds, and that would 
> suggest diverse origins, so it might be useful to test for.
> What astonishes us here in Copenhagen, given all the chatter about the 
> same jar- types being found in the ruin as in the caves, is that 
> apparently no one has thought to do a neutron activation sequence to 
> see where the clay came from that they were made from. Of course, 
> that test, too, might not tell us a great deal: if the clay came from 
> the vicinity, it would not prove that the texts did, too, because one 
> might have bought local products to house the documents, rather than 
> lug them all the way from Jerusalem. But a test showing that some of 
> them came from Jerusalem, or wherever, could put the cat among the 
> pigeons properly. Worth testing for, one might think. (Lemche's 
> suggestion, and a good one).
> Fred Cryer