Now available on our photographic tab are the slides very kindly provided by the late Prof. Philip R. Davies. Click here to see them, with captions by DQCAAS. We are particularly pleased to have a picture of Roland de Vaux demonstrating how the Qumranites did their laundry. There is also a very nice image of Crystal Bennett, then Director of the British School of Archaeology and close friend of de Vaux’s, with her two dachshunds. Along with these, there are views of the site before the visitors’ centre was constructed, though signage and pathways had been created. Cave 4Qa and Cave 4Qb had not suffered the erosion of the present time. These images are not only important for understanding the site, but to the keen eye they can play a part in telling the story of how excavation, weathering and developments for tourism damage the archaeology of a place of immense cultural heritage value. There is much more that could be said on this topic, but for now we simply graciously acknowledge the generosity of Professor Davies in allowing his slides to be made available. We deeply regret he is no longer with us.
For visitors to Qumran, there is often the question: ‘Where were the first Dead Sea Scrolls found?’ If you look around at the hills they are dotted with caves, and at first sight they look remarkably similar. Which is the right one? We are grateful to Alexander Schick, who has supplied a photograph of the rocky escarpment where Cave 1Q is located, with a red arrow, so that visitors can find the location without a guide. To enable easier identification in historical archive photographs, we also include an ASOR image (cropped) where we have placed a red arrow to show the location of Cave 1Q.
NB Archaeologists normally add ‘Q’ after ‘Cave 1’. The Q is for ‘Qumran’ and distinguishes it as a scrolls cave, as opposed to a non-scrolls cave which is referred to without a ‘Q’. In addition, all the caves in the Qumran vicinity were numbered in the survey of 1952 in a sequence, and Cave 1Q is actually Cave 14 in this series. The archaeologists and scrolls scholars surely had their reasons at the time for two different numeration systems, but it has led to confusion and continues to do so. The cave designated ‘Cave 1’ in the 1952 survey (with no scrolls in it) is actually further north.
Team members are delighted to share Dr Dennis Mizzi’s recent publication, “Qumran at Seventy,” which appeared in Strata: The Bulletin of the Anglo-Israel Archaeological Association (2017): 9-45. Many thanks to Dr David Milson, and the society’s editorial committee, for allowing the network to reproduce this article here: Mizzi_Qumran@70
On 8 March, 2018, Joan Taylor gave a lecture in London on the quest to find Qumran Cave 1Q artefacts that have been dispersed around the world, and also considered some of the mysterious unprovenanced jars in various collections. Held in the Clore Education Centre of the British Museum, the lecture attracted over 200 people and led to some interesting discussions afterwards. The Network thanks the Palestine Exploration Fund and the Anglo-Israel Archaeological Society for their interest in our work, now published in the Palestine Exploration Quarterly.
International conference at State Museum of Archaeology Chemnitz.
Just published by Professor Joan Taylor, Dr Dennis Mizzi, and Professor Marcello Fidanzio, “Revisiting Qumran Cave 1Q and Its Archaeological Assemblage,” Palestine Exploration Quarterley 149/4 (2017): 295-325.
Abstract: Qumran Cave 1Q was the first site of Dead Sea scroll discoveries. Found and partly emptied by local Bedouin, the cave was excavated officially in 1949 and published in the series Discoveries in the Judaean Desert (Volume 1) in 1955. Contents of the cave are found in collections worldwide, and in different institutions in Jerusalem and Amman. While the scrolls are the most highly prized artefacts from this cave, in archaeological terms they are part of an assemblage that needs to be understood holistically in order to make conclusions about its character and dating. This study presents all of the known items retrieved from the cave, including those that are currently lost, in order to consider what we might know about the cave prior to its emptying and the changes to its form. It constitutes preliminary work done as part of the Leverhulme funded International Network for the Study of Dispersed Qumran Caves Artefacts and Archival Sources.
Electronic access to this article is available via Taylor and Francis
On 20-21 July,2017 Dennis Mizzi and Joan Taylor were able to photograph, draw and study pottery fragments in the Palestine Exploration Fund, London, which the Network has identified as deriving from Cave 1Q. The most important fragments come from a jar rim.
The pottery was associated with 1Q textiles stored in one of the PEF drawers, and has only recently come to light (see previous blog post). These will be published soon in a series of articles identifying the holdings of the PEF in regard to Qumran.
We are grateful to the Committee of the PEF and especially to Felicity Cobbing (Executive Director), for making these resources available for study.
At the recent SOTS (Society for Old Testament Study) Centenary Meeting, held at King’s College, London, the team reviewed the aims and achievements of the project, and explained how they are making available new findings via the website (www.dqcaas.com). Together with the project’s anticipated publications, the network is also feeding data towards a new book series on the archaeology of the Qumran caves edited by J. B. Humbert and M. Fidanzio. The very first volume of this series (on Cave 11Q) will be appearing next year. To date, the team have concentrated on materials connected with Qumran Cave 1Q and 11Q. In regard to Cave 1Q, there has been a particular focus on the jars dispersed around the globe in various museums and collections. Cave 11Q linen has been radiocarbon dated with interesting results. The photographic collection of the Allegro archive in Manchester Museum is currently being digitised, and other archival materials elsewhere continue to be identified. The network investigators concluded by informing the audience that they are keen to hear from anyone with photographs and materials of the Qumran caves from the 1950s and 1960s.
A highly fruitful workshop, organized by ISCAB FTL and ÉBAF, was held in Lugano on 24–25 April 2017 as part of the Qumran Caves Publication Project headed by Jean-Baptiste Humbert and Marcello Fidanzio. The workshop brought together a number of international scholars working on the final publication of Cave 11Q as well as other experts in the field to discuss their results. Marcello Fidanzio presented the preliminary results from the renewed excavation of Cave 11Q, which he co-directed with Dan Bahat, together with an updated edition of archival sources concerning excavations carried out in this cave. Dennis Mizzi talked briefly about the work of the Dispersed Qumran Cave Artefacts and Archival Sources network, and gave an overview of the metal and stone artefacts from 11Q, based on a study he has carried out with Annalisa Faggi. Joan Taylor’s contribution focused on the organic objects, during which important radiocarbon dating results funded by the DQCAAS network were presented.
The Caves of Qumran
Edited by Marcello Fidanzio, Facoltà di Teologia di Lugano
This volume presents the proceedings of an international conference (Lugano 2014) dedicated entirely to the caves of Qumran. The papers deal with both archaeological and textual issues, comparing the caves in the vicinity of Qumran between themselves and their contents with the other finds in the Dead Sea region. The relationships between the caves and the settlement of Qumran are re-examined and their connections with the regional context are investigated. The original inventory of the materials excavated from the caves by Roland de Vaux is published for the first time in appendix to the volume.
George J. Brooke
Introduction – Available for Download caves-2016-intro-fidanzio
Part 1: Topography
1 The Qumran Caves in their Regional Context: A Chronological Review with a Focus on Bar Kokhba Assemblages
Joan E. Taylor
2 Cacher et se cacher à Qumrân : grottes et refuges. Morphologie, fonctions, anthropologie
Part 2: Manuscripts
3 The Contents of the Manuscripts from the Caves of Qumran
Florentino García Martínez
4 The Profile and Character of Qumran Cave 4Q: The Community Rule Manuscripts as a Test Case
5 Scribal Characteristics of the Qumran Scrolls
6 La paléographie des manuscrits de la mer Morte
Part 3: Other Finds
7 Terracotta Oil Lamps (Roland de Vaux’s Excavations of the Caves)
8 The Unpublished Textiles from the Qumran Caves 123
9 Miscellaneous Artefacts from the Qumran Caves: An Exploration of their Significance
10 The Distribution of Tefillin Finds among the Judean Desert Caves
Part 4: Chronology, Functions, Connections
11 When and Why Were Caves Near Qumran and in the Judaean Desert Used?
12 The Connection between the Site of Qumran and the Scroll Caves in Light of the Ceramic Evidence
13 The Functions of the Caves and the Settlement of Qumran: Reflections on a New Chapter of Qumran Research
Jürgen K. Zangenberg
Part 5: Short Papers
14 The Inscriptional Evidence from Qumran and its Relationship to the Cave 4Q Documents
Sidnie White Crawford
15 The Coins of Khirbet Qumran from the Digs of Roland De Vaux: Returning to Henri Seyrig and Augustus Spijkerman
16 Dating the Scroll Deposits of the Qumran Caves: A Question of Evidence
Gregory L. Doudna
17 History of the “Qumran Caves” in the Iron Age in the Light of the Pottery Evidence
18 Finds from the Qumran Caves: Roland de Vaux’s Inventory of the Excavations (1949–1956)
Marcello Fidanzio and Jean-Baptiste Humbert
Index of Modern Authors
Index of Sites and Place Names