[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

orion Cave 4 again

While re-reading Schiffman, "Reclaiming the Dead Sea Scrolls" (so far 
an exercise in frustration), I once again came across the "standard 
theory" that the holes in the walls of cave 4 were used to hold 
shelves on which the scrolls rested.  Over time, so the story goes, 
the shelves rotted away and the scrolls tumbled to the floor, where 
they were eventually found in the jumbled mess that awaited 
discoverers.  This idea raises a few questions in my mind:

1. Is it really reasonable to suppose that (presumably) heavy wooden 
planks would rot away before sheets and rolls of leather did, leaving 
only the leather items behind?  It seems to me that the leather would 
have rotted away long before the wood did, but I'm willing to be 
convinced otherwise.

2. Were any scraps of wood that might have come from these shelves 
found among the scroll fragments on the floor of the cave?  If not, 
what explanations do the theorists have as to why not?

3. In tandem with #2, if the holes had wooden pegs in them to support 
the shelves, there should have been some wood scraps, fibers or other 
debris left in the holes.  Was there?

4. On a slightly different tangent, we are told that cave 4 was 
hollowed out by human hands.  Does this mean that the cave was 
already there and someone enlarged it, or that the whole thing is 
man-made?  I've never been clear on that.

Dave Washburn
Scholarese, n. A dialect that consists entirely of 
multiverbal circumlocutions and polysyllabic verbiages.