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Re: Copper Scroll (was Re: orion-list Essenes, Zias article, etc.
On 12/11/99, Russell Gmirkin wrote:
<< Subj: Re: Copper Scroll (was Re: orion-list Essenes, Zias article, etc.
...However, all sides in the current discussion of the Copper Scroll on
this list, like most secondary literature, have assumed that the list of
treasures dates to around
the time of the Jewish Revolt....
In reading the Copper Scroll I am struck by the complete absence of any
Herodian Era placenames. Instead, we see sites prominent in the Hasmonean
Era such as the district of Kohalith where Jannaeus conquered sixty
the fortress Dok (Dagon near Jericho), and the "domicile of the queen"
(probably the palace of Queen Salome in the vicinity of Jericho).
Significantly, all the locations mentioned in the Copper Scroll fall neatly
within the boundaries of Judea during the time of Alexander Jannaeus and
shortly thereafter. To my mind this suggests a hiding of treasures in the
wake of the exile from Jerusalem of the (arguably Sadducean) allies of
Jannaeus during the time of Salome and Hyrkanus.
We also have reference to a "garden of Zadok" near Jerusalem, suggesting
a special reverence of Zadok by the group responsible for hiding the Copper
Scroll treasures. May this not also point to the Sadducees?
These clues indicate a date of c. 76 BCE rather than c. 68-70 CE and (to
my mind) suggest the hiders were allied with Jannaeus (Alexander) and the
Sadducees rather than with the Essenes. The Hymn to King Jonathan points in
the same direction, as well as the archaeology of the Qumran site (as
out by Doudna).
Certainly there is still much to be learned from the Copper Scroll. >>
While no Herodian Era placenames (Masada, Caesarea, etc.) are mentioned in
the Copper Scroll, references to the Portico or Stoa (Column XI, Line 2) and
the Colonnades (Column XI, Line 8) may refer to Herod's reconstruction of the
Temple. Neither of these translations is universally accepted, however.
If there is thought to be any correlation between the hoarding described in
the Copper Scroll and recovered coin hoards from Israel in general, the First
Revolt is still the most likely. There are a number of shekel hoards
associated with the First Revolt, but none from c. 76 B.C.E. and relatively
few from the Second Revolt. An Inventory of Greek Coin Hoards, 1973, lists
the following hoards for Hellenistic Phoenicia - Palestine for this period:
El-Jib (Gibeon), Judaea, c. 75 B.C.E., 23 copper coins; Golan
(Gaulanitis/Trachonitis), c. 100-75 B.C.E., 40 copper coins; Samaria-Sebaste,
Samaria, after 74 B.C.E., 22 copper coins, 1 shekel of Tyre. A large hoard
of shekels (200+) was recovered at Jericho, but the latest coin was dated
103/2 B.C.E. I haven't checked for hoards published after 1973, but would be
surprised if they change this picture very much.
Robert D. Leonard Jr.
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