[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
orion DSS Congress Update
An International Congress
THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS
FIFTY YEARS AFTER THEIR DISCOVERY
Major Issues and New Approaches
Jerusalem, July 20-25, 1997
WATCH THE CONGRESS UNFOLD
Wednesday, July 23, 1997.
The Sciences and the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Discussion continues and while speakers mainly focused on the
Qumran manuscripts, and the Dead Sea Scrolls, others discussed
finds in the Judean Desert, the Bar Kochba letters and documents
from the Second Jewish Revolt (132-135 CE). The recently treated
Copper Scroll, the most enigmatic of the Qumran finds, revealed new
data, which appears to be no less tantalising than the data
In the session devoted to the sciences and the Dead Sea Scrolls,
speakers presented their research incorporating the latest
technologies: Gregory Bearman and Sheila Spiroane of Image,
Pasadena, CA with Michael Phelps of the Ancient Biblical Manuscript
Center, Claremont, CA.
In the session entitled, "IR Imaging of Ancient Manuscripts: Do It
Yourself" the team from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA
and the Ancient Biblical Manuscript Center showcased their project
whereby they apply the principles of imaging spectroscopy to
difficult Dead Sea Scroll fragments and digitally enhance images of
DSS and other ancient documents by using infra red technologies
thereby producing substantially more impressive results than has
been traditionally possible with standard film techniques.
Bruce Zuckerman, of the University of Southern California posed the
question "Just what should now be the rules of the game; what
parameters should be set for analyses of Dead Sea Scroll data from
digitally scanned images" in his paper tantalisingly called "Every
Dot and Tiddle."
He explained how the study of Dead Sea Scrolls, along with other
types of epigraphic studies, is on the verge of a technological
revolution, especially in terms of computer imaging but just how
much image manipulation is too much manipulation?
In the same session, Israel Carmi discussed the dating of Dead Sea
Scrolls by radiocarbon techniques and Gila Kahila Bar-Gal, from the
Kuvin Centre at the Hebrew University focussed on DNA analysis.
In the Ruth Youth Wing a parallel session took place where three
computer assisted research projects were demonstrated.
The Dead Sea Scrolls on CD-ROM , The Farms
Electronic Database, from the Foundation for
Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS) was
presented by, Steven Booras, Donald Parry, and Jan
Wilson. A DSS database comprising of a
comprehensive, fully indexed, and cross-linked
computerised database of the Hebrew Bible and
[Image] transcriptions of the non-biblical DSS texts, some
800 photographs of the scrolls, and translations.
The low resolution images for each transcription
included in the database can be viewed
simultaneously and texts include all DJD
transcriptions published through 1996 and
preliminary versions of most transcriptions to be
published in 1997 or later.
The Orion Center for the Study of the Dead Sea Scrolls presented
their dynamic scholarly center on the Hebrew University campus in a
presentation that opened with the provocative question, "the Dead
Sea Scrolls, so what?" .
After half a century of patient assembly of fragments and careful
deciphering of texts, the Orion Center is now focussing its efforts
towards stimulating the process of assimilation and integretation
of the new data by offering lectures, seminars, and symposia. The
Orion Center has set itself the task of catalysing and initiating
the integration of the newly discovered material into what is
already known about the Second Temple Judaism.
The lively presenter from Orion, Martine van den
Berg, outlined the numerous activities at the
Center, including the weekly coffee hour,
(recommended by Martine), where scholars and
researchers from Israel and abroad meet at the
Mount Scopus Campus, in room 6115, over a cup of
coffee and be sure to find on going lively
discussion on the Dead Sea Scrolls. [Image]
At the same time, the Orion Center web-site, was
demonstrated by Shimon from the Orion Center in
the multimedia room at the Youth Wing, offering
the participants an opportunity to browse through
the site and be able to follow the Orion Centers
The final presentation of this
session was delivered by E.J.
Brill Academic Publisher, Hans van
[Image] der Mejh and Daniel Falk from
Oxford University who showcased
the Dead Sea Scrolls, Electronic
Reference Library, a triple CD-ROM
The Electronic Reference Library,
facilitates scholarly access via
seven search criteria: by PAM
reference, by cave, through
title, inventory, microfiche, [Image]
text and by facsimile. The
product is subscription based and
will be up-dated either yearly or
two-yearly as Dead Sea Scrolls
research continues to flourish.