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At 05:41 PM 5/17/98 -0400, you wrote:
>It is good to know that Stephen Pfann is now on the list. I look forward to
>your future publications and posts. Certainly the word "parchment" has been
>defined differently by different users: from the material resulting from
>the process associated with Pergamon to a wider category.  I agree it is
>not strictly applicable to Qumran. But to some extent "leather" appears to
>have been used with different definitions too. As, for example, by J.B.
>Poole and R. Reed "The Preparation of Leather and Parchment by the Dead Sea
>Community," Technology and Culture 3 (1962) 1-26 (and in a shortened
>reprint in the 1972 anthology, Technology and Culture). William S. Ginell,
>"Report on Dead Sea Scroll Studies" (Getty Conservation Institute, 1993),
>incidentally, also uses the term "parchment."
>	So I think your call for careful use of terminology is useful.
>	Among the consequences--on which perhaps you'd like to comment:
>	Does noting that most Qumran mss skin surfaces are not leather
>(defined as [fully?] tanned skins?) suggest that we should reevaluate the
>measurements published by F. E. Zeuner in PEQ 1960 33f, on "The Basins of
>'Ain Feshkha"? In other words, the lack of tannin there along with the
>other indications of skin-preparation (e.g., the stone beam rollers). Do
>you agree that Essenes there did prepare writing surfaces?
>	Secondly, the contradictory on-list responses so far on ritual
>purity vis-a-vis skin preparation are already foreshadowed in the
>informative but sometimes mistaken article by Poole and Reed, cited above.
>For example,  on p. 7 in the original article, they write, "We have seen
>that there is good reason for believing that this [Qumran] community was
>hyper-Pharisaic or Essenic in character and that they would probably
>believe most strongly in the validity of the Oral Law." I suggest that
>sentence is quite mistaken.
>Best regards,
>Stephen Goranson          goranson@duke.edu
Dear Folks:

A few quick questions from a lay person:  are the skins you are discussing
all from one animal source?  All goat?  Any bovine?  Would that make any
difference in the quantities or quality of "uncleanliness" conveyed to the
person working with them?  Would these be skins from animals butchered to
eat, or would the scrolls only be written on skins from animals reserved
solely for that use, with the meat somehow used as ritual sacrifice?  If
the latter, what standards would each animal have to meet to be worthy of
being made into holy books?

Thank you for your patience.

Mary F. Byrkit
Portland, OR  USA