Qumran Cave 1Q Textiles Found in Leiden


As part of the DQCAAS project we have been seeking out ancient textiles from Qumran Cave 1Q which were published by Grace Crowfoot in DJD 1. These textiles were used to wrap up the Dead Sea Scrolls, pad out the jars and cover the openings. Once studied and published, they were gifted to various collections worldwide, from the Israel Antiquities Authority, to the British Museum and to the Palestine Exploration Fund. While we have been able to track down some of these, for example in the Cambridge Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (see blog post) it seems many of the textiles have been stored away and curators do not know their significance. Some of these textiles have been lost.

Very luckily, when King’s College London doctoral student Katie Turner signed up for a course in textiles at the Textile Research Centre in Leiden, she was told by director Gillian Vogelsang that there were some Qumran Cave 1 textiles there that she could study. When Katie reported this, we at DQCAAS got in touch with Gillian, and she set to photographing and cataloguing the pieces. Gillian has now put up a post on the Textile Research Centre website here.

We are very glad then to be able to share this information. The story is that Gillian was given these textiles by Elizabeth, the daughter of Grace Crowfoot (and Gillian’s teacher), when she helped her move from her larger house to a smaller place, in Norfolk, England, in the early 1980’s. They were in a small cigarette box with Elizabeth’s handwriting. These textile pieces still actually need to be looked at closely to see whether they correspond to any of the published examples.

It is planned that the Qumran Cave 1Q textiles that can now be located will be studied and published together in a future volume dealing with the archaeology of Qumran Cave 1Q, edited by Jean-Baptiste Humbert and Marcello Fidanzio.


[Featured image: Gillian Vogelsang, Textile Research Centre, Leiden ]

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