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orion Re: Cave 4 shelving

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Dave Washburn´s observations on this issue are, as usual, useful. The
excavators left no known reference to any remains of the proposed shelving,
although what de Vaux´ private excavation diaries may happen to contain on
the matter is still a moot point. It *does* seem very unlikely that
conditions that left ca. 60,000 scroll fragments failed entirely to spare
more durable wooden shelving. Hence it is more likely that the wood was
removed in subsequent times. It has been pointed out before that the caves
were probably visited during the middle ages, for which reason I have
always maintained that we cannot assume we know how the cave 4 texts were
actually deposited. If this is correct, then the likeliest explanation for
the disappearance of the "shelving", if there was any, is that someone
reused it for some other purpose. If the occasion was a temporary
occupation of the site by refugees, or whatever, the shelving may have
ended up as firewood. Alternatively, it may even have been removed prior to
the deposition of the texts...

Fred Cryer