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Re: orion Red, green, blue inks

Date: Tue, 28 Apr 1998 23:48:16 +0100
From: daniel falk <daniel.falk@Oriental-Studies.oxford.ac.uk>

I must say that the plates in DJD 12 definitely do not look like there is
blue/green ink. There is a slight greenish tint at places in the
photographs, but this is not limited to ink. Look at the adges of several
fragments, like 17i, 65, ,67, and 27ii. From the photographs alone, this
would seem to be a phenomenon of the colour development rather than the ink.
Is any of this discussion based on people who have examined the fragments
themselve? I must admit I have ignored most of the messages on this subject
as I think it is a red herring (or a blue/green one).
Daniel Falk

At 01:00 28/04/98 -0400, you wrote:
>On April 27, Christian Brady wrote:
>>You have mentioned the blue and green ink before.  I know of _no_ texts
>>which have blue or green ink.  Can you give us the numbers of the
>>scrolls/frgs. which you claim have this ink?
>   Discoveries in the Judean Desert: 12. Qumran Cave 4: VII Genesis to
>Numbers (1994)
>   Plate XLIX
>   Fragments 60, 67 and 71 appear to be in green/blue ink
>   Other fragments are with red or black ink
>   >(And is it possible that what you are seeing is oxidation of one or
>more of
>   >the elements which make up the ink?)
>   To be honest, I haven't seen these in color, so I can't say.  Neil
>Altman and a scholar at the University of Pennsylvania museum library
>certainly didn't think so. If the red is mercury sulfide, would it break
>down into these colors? Also, it seems the writers of the report in
>Archaeometry would have said something about it. That report baited Altman
>with the reference to different colored inks, green and blue, I believe,
>and sent him to DJD looking.  But the Archaeometry report with blithely on,
>making no mention of oxidation or oxidized cinnabar.  
>   Perhaps the dreary Essenes were more colorful and creative than we give
>them credit for.  And perhaps the colorbook religious texts got so out of
>hand that it led to the later rabbinical rules to keep biblical texts in
>black and white just about the time that everyone else was beginning to
>enjoy color.  <g>
>David Crowder
>El Paso       
Dr. Daniel Falk
University of Oxford
The Oriental Institute
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Oxford OX1 2LE
tel. (01865) 278200; fax (01865) 278190