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RE: orion-list "Scroll jars"
Accounts of the early discoveries vary. For example, one account
has, not reddish seeds in one jar, but "reddish earth." This is reported in
DSS: A Personal Account (rev.ed. 1977, p.99) by John Trever. He also
reported accounts of "greenish" cloth covering the scrolls; though he also
noted (p. 219) that "there appears to be no evidence to explain this
description"--i.e., the "greenish" part. In other words, one might well be
cautious about one selectively presented account. De Vaux (DSS & Arch.
p.49) reported in Cave One "olive- and date-stones," but not, per se,
For a good discussion of the dual use and the dating of "scroll
jars," please see Jodi Magness posts in orion archives. These jars,
apparently, were of Qumran manufacture and not attested earlier than the
time of Herod the Great.
Many of the caves evidently had been entered by others than
archaeologists between the time of ancient deposits and archaeological
examinations. In some cases, apparently, scrolls were removed from jars by
people looking for goods other than scrolls. Some jars, reportedly, were
empty. In some cases, rock falls from cave ceilings, reportedly, broke some
jars. In any case, numerous jars of this type came from caves in which
manuscripts were found. Some of the better-preserved scrolls, plausibly,
had benefitted from remaining in jars.
(The jar bought by Allegro from Kando is pictured on the web [I
don't have the URL at hand], as the Norway National Library hopes to
acquire the Schoyen collection.)
Scrolls in jars are known in literary texts, as well as in reported
previous finds (according to Origen, Joseph's Hypomnestikon, etc.),
including in jars the vicinity of Jericho. As well, texts in ceramics are
known elsewhere (e.g. Afghanistan?, was it, in J. Asiatique?). The medieval
discovery of manuscripts was described by Timotheus "in a chamber in a
mountain in the vicinity of Jericho." (Syriac text and trans. in John C.
Reeves JSJ 30  174, 175).
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