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Re: orion Cave 4 again

At 10:34 AM 3/22/98 +0000, you wrote:
>While re-reading Schiffman, "Reclaiming the Dead Sea Scrolls" (raise[d] 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.

Perhaps the wood was eaten by little buggies while the scrolls, sealed in
jars, were not quite so accesible.  (just a thought, not a firm commitment).

>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?

Not that I recall (but my mind is a little jumbled having waded through 165
messages when I returned from my little junket today).

>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?

Again, not that I recall.

>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.

It certainly looks like it was man made- though we must always remember that
the way things look today will scarcely reflect how they looked two thousand
years ago.  Now one can hardly get to the top entrance of the cave without
risking life and limb on that wretched marl.  Who knows how accesible it was
when the scroll folk (a new term, I think) lived there.

>Dave Washburn

More later on our private project, Dave, when I can function cogently (stop
laughing Judith).