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orion Scroll jars
Again I thank Prof. Magness for her expert information. (And again, to me,
F. Cryer's text appears condescending.) Though I do not have R.
Bar-Natan's work at hand, a few notes:
Reasonable people can discuss just how similar two ceramic items must be to
be typed together, as a comparison with Paul Lapp shows. But a more
restrictive definition of this type will only heighten the fact that
"scroll jars" have been found in a geographically small area (Qumran was in
the Jericho toparchy?) and for a limited time.
The single jar found in North Jordan was found in a tomb context
ranging later than Qumran. It is regrettable that it was not published.
(Did de Vaux see it or only use the published description?) It was found in
a salvage dig, with inkwells (one of which, which was photographed,
resembles Qumran ceramic inkwells). Records of that dig, apparently, are
lost. (Perhaps the jar and inkwell have been mixed with Qumran artifacts in
Amman?) The observation that it was not found with scrolls is hardly
stringent; the Abila area is not as dry as Qumran. (And scrolls have been
mentioned in the Jericho area; though Joseph, Hypomnestikon, says Origen
used a text found at Jericho in bronze jars.) IMO some Essenes fled during
the revolt to the east of the Jordan; this tomb was in the "land of
Damascus" area. That one jar may have been brought from Qumran.
I agree with Prof. Magness that the locus 2 jar is most properly
assigned to Period II (i.e., later than 9/8 BCE). And that no reliable
attestation of "scroll jars" pre-31 BCE has been presented. To have a c55
BCE deposit date requires assuming C14 dates from Zurich and Tucson are
mistaken, as well as many paleographic datings, and that unattested jars
existed then. The statement attributed to R. Bar-Nathan that no such (even
similar) jars were found at Herodian Jericho (a larger site, dug for years
by Ehud Netzer) pre-31 BCE is quite significant. That, reportedly, "scroll
jars" appear in zealot (i.e., late) contexts at Masada is of interest. I
would welcome tests on the clay. That "scroll jars" were made at Qumran
DeVaux described the locus 2 jar as being just like those in Cave
One. No one, I think, has objected to that. If one allows that the locus 2
jar is a "scroll jar," even though no scrolls were found in it, can we
acknowledge the possibility that it was used in the Khirbeh to hold
scrolls? That this type jar was invented for food provisions can also be
entertained, which would call for some reason for that shape to be devised.
Stephen Goranson firstname.lastname@example.org