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Re: chatter about "scroll-jars"

>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 depends on how you want to define the "type."  If the type is based on
the relatively rare (among large pottery jars of this period in
Palestine-Syria) appearance of a wide-mouth, then there have been a few
similar jars found near Jericho.  If the type is defined by the rather long
and straight body with a rather flat bottom, then the jars are distinctive
to the Qumran site and a cave or two.

>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:



Paul V. M. Flesher
Religious Studies
University of Wyoming
Laramie, WY  82071-3353