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Re: orion Dating of Locus 2 jar
Dear orion listers,
I hope I am doing the right thing by (1) forwarding this last message from
Prof. Magness, who gave her permission, and (2) , in accord with what Jodi
said our moderator Avital indicated, mentioning that I do not intend to
forward further messages from her to orion. Thanks to Jodi Magness, Avital
Pinnick, and all concerned.
Stephen Goranson email@example.com
>Date: Sat, 01 Nov 1997 12:09:02 -0500 (EST)
>From: Jodi Magness <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Subject: Re: orion Dating of Locus 2 jar
>To: Stephen Goranson <email@example.com>
>Reply-to: Jodi Magness <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Thank you for forwarding Greg Doudna's message to me (he forwarded a copy
>to me as well). Since Avital at the Orion list has requested that I join
>the Orion list if I wish to make any further comments (and I really do not
>want to join the list!), I am sending this message to you. You can forward
>it to Greg and the list if you wish.
>Just a couple more points regarding Greg's latest message.
>1)Greg keeps referring to Period I at Qumran, which does not exist. De
>Vaux's chronology consisted of Period Ia (which I do not believe existed -
>that is, I do not believe there is evidence that the site was established
>before the beginning of the first century B.C.E.) and Period Ib. On the
>basis of the article I published in Dead Sea Discoveries, we now need to
>distinguish between the pre-31 B.C.E. phase of Period Ib, and the post-31
>B.C.E. phase of Period Ib, which continues to ca. 9/8 B.C.E. or some time
>thereafter. Of course, de Vaux's plans of the site conflate the pre- and
>post-31 B.C.E. remains of Period Ib; only the final publication of all of
>the material will make it possible (maybe) to separate out what goes with
>what. So, when Greg says Period I, in this case with regard to Locus 2, he
>needs to clarify exactly which part of Period I he is referring to. I find
>it hard to believe that the whole jar set into the floor of Locus 2 could
>have survived the earthquake of 31 B.C.E. and then the destruction of the
>site in ca. 9/8 B.C.E., and have come down to us intact after the site was
>again destroyed in 68 C.E. That would make it a most remarkable jar! In
>addition, however, and more importantly, contrary to Greg's claim, that
>jar is NOT a part of the architecture! It could have been sunk into the
>floor at any time during the occupation of the site. Anyone who has worked
>on excavations has seen this sort of thing. The fact that it was covered
>with the paving slabs of the floor doesn't prove anything about its date.
>Just off the top of my head, I don't think that the phenomenon of having
>jars sunk into floors (even scroll jars), is unique to Locus 2. I seem to
>recall that phenomenon is rather common at Qumran. But I am not going to
>check on that right now.
>2) I have demonstrated that de Vaux's Period I at Ein Feshkha (which he
>equated with Period Ib at Qumran - that is, he dated Period I at Ein
>Feshkha to ca. 100-31 B.C.E.), actually post-dates the earthquake of 31
>B.C.E. (this is forthcoming in my Qumran Chronicle article; I also
>referred to it in my lecture in Jerusalem this summer). So, the jar that
>Greg refers to at Ein Feshkha could not antedate 31 B.C.E. (I also seem to
>recall, however, that at Ein Feshkha, de Vaux found only small fragments
>of pottery - no whole vessels - in Period I contexts).
>3) It is also possible to approach the dating of the scroll jars from
>another angle (which I have done), and this is to reconstruct the secure
>assemblages we have from the various destruction levels at Qumran. In
>other words, one can reconstruct the published assemblages of pottery
>that are associated with the destruction of the site in 31 B.C.E., and in
>ca. 9/8 B.C.E. Most of the evidence for the former comes from the pantry
>of dishes in L86, 89, which was destroyed in the earthquake of 31 B.C.E.;
>most of the evidence for the latter comes from L130-135 (the loci with the
>animal bone deposits), which were covered by the ash of the fire of ca.
>9/8 B.C.E., and overlaid with the silt of the subsequent period of
>abandonment. Although both of these assemblages are limited in terms of
>repertoire (again, we need to have all of the material from Qumran
>published!), I think it is significant that NO examples of "scroll jars"
>are attested from them.
>And, again, a perusal of all of the pottery published in de Vaux's
>preliminary reports clearly indicates that the majority belongs to the
>last major phase of occupation (Period II) - these first century C.E.
>types include the "Herodian" oil lamps, the carinated cooking pots, the
>storage jars with collar at the base of the neck, etc.
>Finally, one more observation about the scroll jars in general. They
>clearly represent a local ceramic type, which (on the basis of the
>presently available evidence from Jericho and Qumran) may have appeared in
>the time of Herod the Great, but are most common in the first century C.E.
>(that is, they are pretty much contemporary with the ceramic types I
>mentioned above). I believe that the "classic" scroll jars were developed
>for the purpose of storing scrolls, since their cylindrically-shaped body
>and short, wide neck don't make sense otherwise (in contrast, the typical
>Palestinian bag-shaped storage jars have a longer, narrow neck, and a
>bag-shaped body - which is ideal for storing oil, grain, etc., and
>ensuring that the contents won't spill out easily). However, it is clear
>from the presence of "scroll jars" in the settlement at Qumran and at
>Jericho that they were also used for other purposes as well - probably
>within domestic or industrial contexts. In fact, almost all of the
>examples illustrated by Bar-Nathan from Jericho have a wide body -
>probably because they were used for such purposes (they were found in the
>industrial area). So, which came first, the chicken or the egg? That is,
>did the wider, "industrial" variant develop from the classic scroll jars,
>or are the classic scroll jars a variant of the "industrial" type (which
>then may have already existed locally in this region). I don't know the
>answer to that.
>I thank you for inviting me to participate from this discussion; I hope
>that I can now withdraw gracefully. I think that I have exhausted all I
>can say meaningfully about the chronology of the scroll jars.
>Sincerely, Jodi Magness