Unveiling secrets of the Dead Sea scrolls

  • The first manuscripts from the Qumran caves were found in 1947. Within the following 10 years, clandestine and legal excavations revealed some 900 highly fragmented manuscripts from the late Second Temple period. This collection is generally known as Scrolls of the Judea Desert or Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS). For many years after their discovery, text analysis and fragments attribution were the main concern of the scholars dealing with the scrolls. The uncertain archaeological provenance of the larger part of the collection added an additional difficulty to the formidable task of sorting some 19000 fragments. After 60 years of scholar research the questions of origin, archaeological provenance and correct attribution of the fragments are still hotly debated. In many cases material characterization of the scroll writing media deliver answers to the questions stated above. Furthermore, issues concerning corrosion pathways, ancient technologies and contemporary conservation activitiesThe first manuscripts from the Qumran caves were found in 1947. Within the following 10 years, clandestine and legal excavations revealed some 900 highly fragmented manuscripts from the late Second Temple period. This collection is generally known as Scrolls of the Judea Desert or Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS). For many years after their discovery, text analysis and fragments attribution were the main concern of the scholars dealing with the scrolls. The uncertain archaeological provenance of the larger part of the collection added an additional difficulty to the formidable task of sorting some 19000 fragments. After 60 years of scholar research the questions of origin, archaeological provenance and correct attribution of the fragments are still hotly debated. In many cases material characterization of the scroll writing media deliver answers to the questions stated above. Furthermore, issues concerning corrosion pathways, ancient technologies and contemporary conservation activities demand in depth material studies. To obtain a comprehensive picture we use optical and electron microscopy, various X-ray based techniques as well as vibrational spectroscopy. We validated our approach with SY- based studies using the advantages of the synchrotron radiation source with respect to the bench-top devices. Our laboratory studies showed that often production and storage locality could be distinguished thanks to the specific residues (“fingerprint”) they left on the material. Moreover, we have discovered that different parchment production processes coexisted in the antiquity, and the resulting writing materials can readily be distinguished. Within our recent studies we tentatively reconstructed the history of the Genesis Apocryphon. Written with a corrosive ink on a tanned parchment, it was found rolled together with an additional layer of non-inscribed non-tanned parchment. Chemical composition of the ink is in agreement with a 1st century AD ink recipe recorded in Materia Medica by a Greek physician, Pedanius Dioscorides. Study of the scroll deterioration as a function of time and exposition to light during the post-discovery period allows us to speculate that the scroll was rather “archived” than hidden in Cave 1. These results confirm the theory of Eliezer Sukenik who believed Cave 1 to be a “geniza”. A similar study of the Temple Scroll, discovered in the cave 11 indicates that the scroll was rather hidden than “archived”.zeige mehrzeige weniger

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Metadaten
Autoren/innen:Ira Rabin
Dokumenttyp:Vortrag
Veröffentlichungsform:Präsentation
Sprache:Englisch
Jahr der Erstveröffentlichung:2017
Organisationseinheit der BAM:4 Material und Umwelt
4 Material und Umwelt / 4.5 Kunst- und Kulturgutanalyse
DDC-Klassifikation:Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / Chemie / Analytische Chemie
Freie Schlagwörter:Dead Sea scrolls
Themenfelder/Aktivitätsfelder der BAM:Analytical Sciences
Veranstaltung:2nd International Conference on Patristic Studies
Veranstaltungsort:San Juan, Argentina
Beginndatum der Veranstaltung:28.03.2017
Enddatum der Veranstaltung:31.03.2017
Verfügbarkeit des Volltexts:Volltext-PDF im Netzwerk der BAM verfügbar ("Closed Access")
Datum der Freischaltung:15.12.2017
Referierte Publikation:Nein