The Allegro Image Archive

 

The Dispersed Qumran Cave Artefacts and Archival Sources (DQCAAS) project is now drawing to a close, after three+ years of much-appreciated funding from the Leverhulme Trust. As part of our project, Dr. Sandra Jacobs has laboured long and hard in digitising and uploading a large collection of photographs taken by John Allegro in the 1950s and 1960s and we are very grateful to her.

John Allegro took pictures of Qumran and the caves already in 1954, and added to these in his successive journeys back to the region over many years. He was part of the early publication team and was instrumental in opening the Copper Scroll. He was also an excellent photographer. We hope that his collection will be appreciated by Scrolls scholars, archaeologists and the wider public as we all seek to understand more deeply the site of Qumran and its vicinity, the caves of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the texts themselves.

This photographic collection has already been available in a microfiche edition prepared by George Brooke and Helen Bond: The Allegro Qumran Photograph Collection (Leiden: Brill, 1996).  Since microfiche readers in libraries are becoming harder to find, and the image quality is poor, it seemed essential to make this set of important photographs available digitally. The fine work of cataloguing and identifying the images done by Brooke and Bond will nevertheless be much appreciated for years to come and is necessary for a fuller understanding of the photographs. The monochrome digital images provided here correspond to the microfiche set.

We also provide Allegro’s colour slide collection, many of which overlap with the monochrome images. We are very grateful to the Collections Studio of Manchester Museum. For image requests, please contact Rachel Petts, curator: rachel.petts@manchester.ac.uk

As well as the slides and prints in the Manchester Museum, we include also on this site a range of important examples made available by the daughter of John Allegro, Judith Brown, who has provided additional photographs. Please note that she holds copyright over both the Manchester Museum images and her personal archive, and these images may not be reproduced without her permission. We are enormously grateful to her for her help and support and for allowing us to release these important images via this site.

Thank you to all.

 

Professor Marcello Fidanzio in Jerusalem and Bethlehem

During November 2018, Professor Marcello Fidanzio gained access to view and examine the Dead Sea Scroll Jars and materials held at the Shrine of the Book Museum in Jerusalem together with Isabella Bossolino (shown below). The network is particularly grateful to curator, Dr Hagit Maoz, for her valuable assistance in preparing drawings and photographs of the pottery at this time.

Further meetings with Dr Na’ama Sukenik (Textile Technologist at the Israel Antiquities Authority) at Mount Scopus took place, with Dr Sukenik shown below with Isabella:

 

With further assistance of Dr Emile Puech, the team were also given access to the jar and lid (assumed to have been found in Cave 11Q), which is currently held in the Kando Souvenir Shop in Bethlehem. This has facilitated the production of improved drawings and  photographic documentation. Both Adolfo Roitman and Hagit Maoz were extremely helpful  and were able to provide further details relating to the restoration of this jar to Professor Fidanzio.

Additional visits to the holdings at the Rockefeller Museum in East Jerusalem, and also the Bible Museum, were carried out. The Bible Museum jar is labelled Q29-5, from Qumran Cave 29 (in the 1952 survey) and the  lid (Q23), is from Cave 1. Examined below:

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Bible Society – Nov 2018

Seated below (with laptop) is Dr Benedetta Torrini, from the archaeological Museum in Florence, who has assisted Professor Fidanzio previously on his 11Q excavations.

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The NPAPH Khirbet Qumran Collection: Guest Blog by Bart Wagemakers

In 2013 the Non-Professional Archaeological Photographs project (NPAPH) was initiated in order to preserve non-professional documentation of past archaeological campaigns to the future and make it accessible to the public via digital archives.

The term ‘non-professional’ refers to two categories of records. First of all records made by visitors or participants of excavations who were not part of the trained staff, but who assisted as part of their continuing education or out of interest; for instance students, volunteers, reporters or sponsors. Secondly, the term represents personal photos, slides or films made by the archaeological staff itself.

Unlike official documentation, which can be consulted in published reports and is kept in libraries, museums, archives and on the internet, documentation by non-professionals is generally not accessible to the public. Furthermore, it is possible that these non-professional photographs, slides or films have not always been stored in the best conditions over the years. Therefore, the NPAPH project makes efforts to secure and make accessible this valuable documentation category.

One of the NPAPH digital collections is the Khirbet Qumran collection. This collection consists of photos made by people with various backgrounds. These include the archaeologists Ann Searight (now also available at DQCAAS) and Dan T. Hughs who visited the site during their stay in the region. Lucas Grollenberg, a Dominican priest from the École Biblique in Jerusalem, joined Père De Vaux at his excavations at Tell el-Farah (north) and Qumran. There was also the 26 year old Dutch student for the priesthood Leo Boer who had the opportunity to study at the École Biblique for a year (1953-1954). Here he engaged in Biblical studies, joined the third excavation led by de Vaux at Qumran from 13 February till 14 April 1954, and participated in many archaeological excursions organised by the École Biblique (Wagemakers 2014, 2011). Although he didn’t care much for archaeology, he would – indirectly and decades later – contribute to the archaeology of Qumran (Taylor 2014).

The origins of this project began by chance. During a conversation which I had with Boer in 1999, he suddenly produced two photo film canisters from his pocket and told me that these contained the photographs he had taken while excavating at Khirbet Qumran with de Vaux in March 1954. In his own words ‘he never had the time to do anything with them’ and that is why he had stored the film canisters in a small box in his garage for decades. Some years later it occurred to Joan Taylor and me that these photographs could be of real significance for the archaeology of Qumran and decided to publish some of them in an article in the Palestine Exploration Quarterly (Wagemakers and Taylor 2011a) and to present all of them in a feature on the Palestine Exploration Fund’s website (Wagemakers and Taylor 2011b).

Boer’s photographs indicate the huge energy of the excavations at Qumran and their rapid progress, as well as providing evidence of obscure areas of the site. Besides, given the many controversies about the nature of the site and the interpretation of its material remains, any new data that sheds light on the excavations was welcome.

And it did! For example, the mud-brick, plastered ‘block’ of L.86-L.87 had been interpreted in diverse ways by different Qumran researchers. Thanks to one of the photographs made by Boer, it could demonstrated for the first time that the top of the central block in L.86 had a slight hollow. Furthermore, we were able to state that the blocks are not the bases for palm-log roof supports, since the fall of the burnt wood on the Period Ib floor in L.86 — evidenced in another picture of Boer — indicates that the flat roofs at Qumran were constructed with beams running across the widths of rooms, with palm logs laid on top.

As the significance of non-professional records is obvious, it must be no surprise that the NPAPH project tries to stimulate others to search for this kind of archaeological documentation; it would surely be a tragedy if all those substantial images of excavations in the past, including those of Qumran, will be lost forever…

References

Taylor, Joan E. 2014. ‘The Archaeology of Khirbet Qumran,’ in Bart Wagemakers (ed.), Archaeology in the Land of ‘Tells and Ruins’. A History of Excavation sin the Holy Land Inspired by the Photographs and Account of Leo Boer (Oxford/Philadelphia: Oxbow Books), pp. 149-165.

Wagemakers, Bart. 2014. ‘Leo Boer, a Dutch Student in the Near East (1953-1954),’ in Bart Wagemakers (ed.), Archaeology in the Land of ‘Tells and Ruins’. A History of Excavation sin the Holy Land Inspired by the Photographs and Account of Leo Boer (Oxford/Philadelphia: Oxbow Books), pp. 1-21.

Wagemakers, Bart. 2011. ‘A Forgotten Diary and Photograph Collection as Valuable Records for the Historical and Archaeological Study of Israel and Transjordan,’ Strata: Bulletin of the Anglo-Israel Archaeological Society 29:121-139.

Wagemakers, Bart and Joan E. Taylor. 2011a. ‘New Photographs of the Qumran Excavations from 1954 and Interpretations of L.77 and L.86,’ Palestine Exploration Quarterly 143.2:134–156.

Wagemakers, Bart and Joan E. Taylor. 2011b. ‘Newly Discovered Qumran Photographs from the 1950s,’ http: www.pef.org.uk/qumran.

Bart Wagemakers

For more information please write to: Bart Wagemakers bart.wagemakers@npaph.com

 

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Guest Blog: From Qumran to New York: Documenting Provenance of a Dead Sea Scroll Jar

The network is delighted to host this guest blog, from Anne Dunn-Vaturi, researcher at The Metropolitan Museum of Art: From Qumran to New York: Documenting Provenance of a Dead Sea Scroll Jar.

In 1963 a Dead Sea Scroll jar from Qumran was entrusted by the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to Richard J. Ward’s care, on his return from Jordan where he served as Economic Advisor to the U.S. aid mission. Dr. Ward, who was also Associate Professor of Economics at the C.W. Post College (today’s Long Island University Post), organized a lecture series by Dead Sea Scroll scholars while the jar was on display at the C.W. Post College Library in December 1963.

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Article from The Post Pioneer. Courtesy of Archives and Special Collections, LIU Post Library. Long Island University.

Shortly after, the jar was transported to The Metropolitan Museum of Art as a gift of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. It was restored and installed in the Ancient Near Eastern gallery on 5 June, 1964. Although the information about Cave 1Q was known from the time of the acquisition of the jar, the provenance and published references of the object were not fully documented in our database.

As part of my mandate to document the ownership history of the collection of the Department of Ancient Near Eastern art, I was recently able to update the jar records thanks to the article “Revisiting Qumran Cave 1Q and its archaeological assemblage” published in 2017 by Joan E. Taylor, Dennis Mizzi and Marcello Fidanzio in the Palestine Exploration Quarterly. The jar, listed as Q40 in table 1 and the lid accompanying it later identified by Joan Taylor as Q22, were discovered in Cave 1Q in 1949.

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Some of the jars from the same cave, including ours, were originally published in the first volume of Discoveries in the Judean Desert. In fact, the Met has one of three jars that are not the ‘classic’ cylindrical shape so we invite member(s) of the Project for the Study Dispersed Qumran Caves Artefacts and Archival Source to have a close look at it. It is currently on view in the case “Ancient Near East and the Bible” in Gallery 406 and it is part of the online Met collection .

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References

Barthélemy, Dominique. and Józef Tadeusz Milik. 1955. Qumran Cave 1: Discoveries in the Judean Desert I. Oxford: OUP, p. 8, fig. 2:10.
Fidanzio, Marcello and Jean-Baptiste Humbert. 2016. “Finds from the Qumran Caves: Roland de Vaux’s Inventory of the Excavations (1949-1956),” in Marcello Fidanzio (ed.), The Caves of Qumran: Proceedings of the International Conference, Lugano 2014 (STDJ XX), Leiden: Brill, p. 265, n. 11, p. 267, table 18.1.
Taylor, Joan E.,  Dennis Mizzi, and Marcello Fidanzio. 2017. “Revisiting Qumran Cave 1Q and its Archaeological Assemblage.” Palestine Exploration Quarterly, 149, 4, table 1, p. 321.

 

Joan Taylor, ‘Finding Qumran Cave 1Q Artefacts’: Palestine Exploration Fund and Anglo-Israel Archaeological Society joint lecture, at the British Museum, 8 March 2018

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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.

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SOTS (Society for Old Testament Study) Centenary Presentation

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.

Professor Marcello Fidanzio in Amman.

On 17 July 2017 Professor Marcello Fidanzio undertook a mission within the framework of The Qumran Caves Publication Project (Ecole biblique et archéologique française, Jerusalem [EBAF] and ISCAB-FTL; series editors J.-B. Humbert and M. Fidanzio) focusing on a large selection of (undisplayed) textiles in Amman, whose professional examination has been entrusted to Dr Mireille Bélis and Dr Christophe Moulherat.

Reporting from the Jordan Museum in Amman Professor Marcello Fidanzio, of the Istituto di Cultura e Archeologia delle terre Bibliche (ISCAB), and Research Associate at the École Biblique et Archeologique Française de Jérusalem, confirms that several types of material found in the Qumran caves are preserved in the Jordan Museum Amman. These include manuscripts from the caves 1Q and 4Q and the Copper Scroll from 3Q cave; pottery and a large amount of textiles, as was first observed by George Brooke over twenty years ago (Brooke 1996, 1997, 2000). These materials can now be understood in connection with the archival records related to the time of the excavation held by the Ecole biblique et archéologique française, Jerusalem (EBAF), and remain important assets in the care of the Jordanian authorities.

Further information regarding the manuscript collection at Amman has been published by George Brooke, from his study at the museum in 1996 as follows:
‘Amman Museum,’ in Encyclopaedia of the Dead Sea Scrolls (Oxford: OUP, 2000).
‘The Dead Sea Scrolls in the National Archaeological Museum, Amman,’ al-Nadwah (al-Bayt University Journal) 8 (1997), 23-35.
‘The Dead Sea Scrolls,’ Jordaniana (Summer, 1996), 16-17.

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DSS & Bible at Chester Cathedral Library

In May, after giving a talk on the Essenes in the ancient literary sources for the Chester Theological Society, Joan Taylor was given a personal tour of the highly interesting exhibition, ‘The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Bible’, at Chester Cathedral Library by its creator George Brooke. Brooke has been a collector of useful and illuminating items associated with the Scrolls and the caves for many years, and has generously shared these, supplemented by materials from Manchester University and Chester Cathedral itself. There are highlights that are of particular interest in terms of the Network. Photographic and archival material is supplemented by a range of books, articles and even postcards that provide a deeper understanding of the Dead Sea Scrolls caves. Notably, there is a replica scroll jar produced at a Nazareth workshop. Reproductions of scrolls are remarkable for their similarity to the real artefacts. In particular there is Allegro’s replica of the Copper Scroll and panels from the Copper Scroll exhibition of some years ago, including one on Wright the opening of the scroll. This rich, eclectic exhibition is extremely useful for students and scholars of the scrolls and caves. The full exhibition catalogue is available for free download here: https://chestercathedral.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Guide.The-Dead-Sea-Scrolls-and-the-Bible.pdf It includes the English version of an article ‘The ‘Library’ of Qumran after 70 Years’ by Brooke, published in Le Monde de la Bible (April 2017).

 

Members of the First Scroll Team: From the Allegro Photographs at the Manchester Museum

Work on John Allegro’s extensive photographic records continues. During March these Manchester Museum pictures were scanned showing members of the first Scrolls team, led by Père Roland de Vaux from the École biblique et archéologique française de Jérusalem (ÉBAF).

  French scholar, Jean Starcky (1909-1988).

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Image B.ST.STARCKY.2 reproduced with permission of the Allegro Estate; courtesy of the Manchester Museum, the University of Manchester; for copyright and reproduction requests please contact collections@manchester.ac.uk

Father Pierre Benoit working on the Greek fragments from Murabba’at.

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Image B.ST.BENOIT.1 reproduced with permission of the Allegro Estate; courtesy of the Manchester Museum, the University of Manchester; for copyright and reproduction requests please contact collections@manchester.ac.uk

John Strugnell with fragments and tobacco pipe:

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B.ST.STRUGNELL.1 reproduced with permission of the Allegro Estate; courtesy of the Manchester Museum, the University of Manchester; for copyright and reproduction requests please contact collections@manchester.ac.uk

Featured image on this post:

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Father Józef Tadeusz Milik (1922-2006) handing a tray of fragments to John Allegro. Image B.ST.ALLEGRO.16; reproduced with permission of the Allegro Estate; courtesy of the Manchester Museum, the University of Manchester; for copyright and reproduction requests please contact collections@manchester.ac.uk

 

Replica Jars at the Australian Institute of Archaeology

On February 20th, 2017, Christopher Davey, of the Australian Institute of Archaeology, Melbourne, hosted a visit from Joan Taylor, to review materials in the archive of G. R. H. (Mick) Wright. While the Wright archive did not provide materials on the caves, Dr Davey has very generously supplied his collection of photographs taken in 1974, and they can be accessed in our photographic database here in low-resolution. To obtain high quality images, please be in touch with him at director@aiarch.org.au.

While at the institute, the opportunity was taken to undertake some experimental archaeology, using the replica 1Q scroll jars and lids there. These replica jars are found in a variety of places, and their production could be an essay in itself, but thus far we have encountered them in Manchester Museum and in private collections. If anyone has further details about them do get in touch with us.

The interest with the replica jars is that they provided a chance for experimenting on how the lids might have been tied on (IF they were tied at all), when most of the jars had no handles. The knob on top of the lids provides an easy means of looping string around it, but where else did such string go? We tried tying the string around the knob and on to the neck, though the replica jars do not have the high neck of the actual 1Q jars and thus the string tended to be unstable. This form of tying still resulted in the lid being able to be lifted a little. We also determined that a tight fit of lid to jar was necessary, which would only be facilitated by having cloth tied to the neck (jar covers), to create a snug casing. A tightly bound jar cover could possibly also then have been used to bind on the lid, with its edges pulled up towards the knob. Textiles could also be used to completely cover the lid, bound on to the neck. It was determined that it would be hard to create a very tight binding of string alone unless it went around the base of the jar, and even this would not be as secure as a fit using cloth laid over the mouth of the jar and tied on to the neck prior to the lid being fitted. Jar covers are therefore an essential part of securing the lid snugly.

String of various kinds has been found in association with the jars in scroll caves, and further examination of this string may enable us to determine whether it might have been used for tying on scroll wrappers, jar covers or the exterior of jars.

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experiments with string: image copyright Joan Taylor