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RE: orion-list "Scroll jars"

> 	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.

"apparently"..."plausibly"..."reportedly"...In other words, nearly this 
entire paragraph is speculation, a.k.a. guesswork.  How would it be 
established that someone, an indeterminate time before the 
archaeologists got there, took some scrolls out of some jars while 
looking for something else?  I don't see how it could be determined 
with any certainty.  There were jars and mss in the same caves, 
but that surely does not establish the likelihood that the scrolls 
were ever in the jars, unless perhaps there's a datable inscription 
on one of the jars that says "X was here and took a scroll out of 
this jar looking for something else.  Didn't find it."  In any case, it 
seems to me that the material already presented makes a good 
case against the idea of "scroll jars."  In the face of finding scrolls 
that *were not* in jars even though there were apparently some jars 
there, this kind of guesswork seems both unnecessary and 

Dave Washburn
"No study of probabilities inside a given frame can ever
tell us how probable it is that the frame itself can be
violated."  C. S. Lewis
For private reply, e-mail to "Dave Washburn" <dwashbur@nyx.net>
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