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orion scroll jars
Last message which will be forwarded by me from Jodi Magness who wishes,
in any case, to withdraw from this discussion.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 30 Oct 1997 21:36:28 GMT
From: Jodi Magness <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: scroll jars
I would like to thank Greg for his excellent and carefully considered
observations regarding Locus 2 at Qumran and the date of the scroll jars.
Despite my desire to withdraw from this discusson on the Orion list, I
feel I should respond to some of the problems Greg raised.
First, regarding what is and is not a "scroll jar." Greg claims that not
everything I listed is a scroll jar. This depends on how one defines
scroll jars. It is true that not all of the jars I listed are "classic"
scroll jars. However, in my typology I followed Rachel Bar-Nathan, who
classified all of these as variants of "scroll jars" (see Bar-Nathan's
unpublished M.A. thesis on the Hasmonean and Herodian pottery from
Jericho). She distinguishes a variety of types; although it is true that
not all of these look like the "classic" scroll jars, they are generally
characterized by the following features: a very low, straight neck and
wide rim; an elongated body; no handles or small vestigial handles; and a
ring base. All of these features distinguish them from the characteristic
Syro-Palestinian "bag-shaped" jars, which have a taller, thinner neck and
rim, a much more globular body, ring handles on the shoulder, and a
rounded base. So, under this classification all of the jars I listed are
"scroll jars" (perhaps de Vaux's term of "cylindrical jars" is better -
more neutral). It is worth noting that all variants of "scroll jars" are
much more common at Qumran (and the caves) than at any other site,
including Jericho. And at Jericho, almost all of those found belong to the
much more globular variant - not the "classic" scroll jar type.
Regarding Locus 2. It is true that I do not have access to my notes or to
Humbert and Chambon's volume (or, for that matter, to de Vaux's
Archaeology and the Dead Sea Scrolls volume). However, Dumbarton Oaks does
have the Revue Biblique in its library, and I have the pages that Greg
cited relating to Locus 2 in front of me. Everything that Greg describes
about Locus 2 is correct, but I do not agree with his conclusion. Why?
Because de Vaux describes coming right down onto the paved floor; he does
not (at least not in the RB), describe any later floor above it. So, while
it is possible that the paved floor was originally laid in an earlier
phase of occupation, it appears to have been in use up until the end of
Period II. De Vaux does describe a clearly later wall that lies above the
pavement and divides Locus 1 from Locus 2. Even IF this wall dates to
Period II, the pavement beneath would not necessarily have to be any
earlier than Period Ib, post 31 B.C.E. But the wall could also represent
modification made to the room during the course of Period II, which
lasted for about 70 years. Or, could it be even later? Say, Period III?
It also appears from de Vaux's description (or rather, lack of description
of a later floor above the pavement), that the pavement continued to be
used even after the later wall was added (to partition L1 from L2).
All of this to say that the attribution of this jar to Period I is
unlikely, I think, or at least very uncertain. Second, as in most
excavations, most of the pottery found and described by the excavator
dates to the LAST major phase of occupation of the site.
I thank Greg again for his excellent comments. Sincerely, Jodi Magness