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orion-list a little more on "scroll" jars
Briefly, in the discovery accounts, some factors vary, such as the find
date mentioned, and the reason for entering Cave One. According to DJD I p.
5, "All [the jars] save one were empty, and from that one they drew forth
one large leather roll and two smaller ones. Much disappointed, they
left...." (Disappointed, because they, like, most probably, some other cave
explorers, had hoped for something they considered more valuable. Just
because the Cave 4 texts were found askew strewn in the cave does not
necessarily mean that's how they were left there by Qumran Essenes.) That
scrolls and cloth covers came from a jar appears to be among the most
consistent parts of the 1947 (or whatever year) story. (Newspaper accounts
did not begin till April, 1948.) And archaeologists did find a cylindrical
jar piece with skin writing surface. To my knowledge, archaeologists did
not find such a jar with little red seeds in it.
Rev Bib 1966 p.73 does briefly note "une jarre a provisions intacte et une
couvercle brise" found at Qumran--but does not indicate that this ceramic
find was parallel to the Cave One type ["scroll"] jars.
S. Talmon (in the Hengel FS, as noted before on orion) did mention a
1991/1992 rainfall uncovered jar like the Cave One type ["scroll"] jar--but
there is given no indication of food inside it.
De Vaux, like some others, evidently thought that the jars were used for
scrolls and for other uses as well.
For a rough sketch of the jar [and a photo of the "bowl used as the lid"]
in which the Nag Hammadi codices were found in 1945, see Biblical
Archeologist 42 (Fall 1979) 212-213.
The birch bark early Buddhist texts (many of the arrived in recent years in
the British Library) --said to date 1st century AD and ff, written in
Ghandharan--were said to have been found in east Afghanistan and maybe
north Pakistan in ceramic jars.
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