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Re: chatter about "scroll-jars"

Well...let's keep the temperature low, if possible. Fragments of a 
great number of jars of the same time were found in the ruins of the 
settlement, not a one of them containing scrolls, or even a fragment 
of one or any sign that they had ever housed any. Hence the vast 
majority of the jars were "jar-jars", rather than "scroll-jars". Then 
again, the length axis of the jars is considerably longer than the 
width of the scrolls known to have been housed in them, hence they 
were not made to house the scrolls, or at least the housing was a 
very spacious fit. Finally, the jars, while unusual, are hardly 
unique as to type; typological cousins of them were found in other 
sites including, if I remember rightly, Jericho, again with nary a 
hint of scrolls. The original publication in BASOR back in the 50s 
considered these details and concluded--quite correctly, as far as I 
can see--that they are more likely "provision jars" which were 
characteristic of the region.
It is worth considering, as I remarked earlier today, that we should 
consider alternate hypotheses when evaluating data, as an aid to 
avoid straitjacketing the data. Well, it has been suggested that the 
settlement was a perfume factory; fine, then the jars are "perfume 
jars" used for storage and shipment of the product to local 
wholesalers. It has also been suggested that the settlement was a 
manorial estate; fine, such places have sizable staffs and hence need 
considerable storage capacity for foodstuffs, so the jars will have 
been, *mirabile dictu*, provision jars. The term "scroll-jars" 
prejudges the data and dictates an historicising scenario of 
manufacture of sacred scrolls and special pots to house them: proto-
munks, as it were. The latter two suggest an improvised re-use of 
jars that originally had other functions. The former only makes sense 
in extension of the "Essene hypothesis", which is apparently in 
danger of becoming infinitely elastic so as to cover any and all 
conditions the data may happen to represent. Once again, this seems 
like poor science to me.

Fred Cryer