Newly Discovered Qumran Holding: World Museum Liverpool

The network team are delighted to report that following on from enquiries made by  Joan Taylor, of the Museums of Liverpool, the curator Ashley Cooke found in their collections a Dead Sea Scroll jar and lid, and also linen. These had been purchased on 8 May, 1951 by the Liverpool Public Museums from the Palestine Archaeological Museum (represented by Gerald Lankaster Harding) for the sum of £50.00. At that time the curator in Liverpool was British archaeologist, John Henry ‘Harry’ Iliffe (1903-1960), whose museum career included posts as head of Classical collections at the Royal Ontario Museum of Archaeology, Toronto (1927-1931); the first keeper of the Palestine Archaeological Museum, now the Rockefeller Museum, in Jerusalem (1931-1948); and Director of Museums in Liverpool (1948-1959).

Kindly note that the above preliminary images, taken by Sandra Jacobs, include the  exterior profile of the jar, and are copyrighted by the Network for the Study of Dispersed Qumran Cave Artefacts and Archives. These photographs may not be used by others for publication purposes. We are currently trying to identify the precise textile, but clearly it is from Qumran Cave 1Q:

textiles_twoWe extremely grateful to Dr Ashley Cooke (featured in the main post photograph) for making the archival correspondence available to the network team to verify the authenticity of this acquisition, as well as his hospitality at the Museum’s off-site warehouse when Isabella Bossolino and Sandra Jacobs arrived from London to photograph and draw the jar and lid.

Further Work on Ashmolean Museum (Oxford) Jar and Lid

The team were also delighted that Isabella Bossolino, together with Sandra Jacobs, were able to  view the Qumran jar and lid (AN1951.477 and AN1951.477.b,) in the Antiquities Study Room at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. with the assistance of curator Dr Alison Pollard, following up on an examination of the jar previously undertaken by Joan Taylor. This pottery was drawn by Isabella for our project. Kindly note that images shown below  are copyrighted by the Network for the Study of Dispersed Qumran Cave Artefacts and Archives, and that they may not be used for publication purposes. Further photographs, drawings and examination notes on this and other materials in collections worldwide will shortly be available  on this website.

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Some information relating to this acquisition has been published by Rebecca Abrams in Chapter 8. “Dead Sea Scroll Jar,” in The Jewish Journey: 4000 Years in 22 Objects From the Ashmolean Museum (Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, 2017), 57-63, where a photograph of the jar prior to its shipment from Jordan also appears. A copy of the Air France consignment note, identifying “jar with lid” is later provided on page 80 of the volume.

British Museum Jar and Lid – Documented 5 March 2019

The Network has had the opportunity to visit the British Museum holdings of Qumran Cave 1Q materials on two previous occasions, and we are grateful to curator Jonathan Tubb for his assistance when Joan Taylor took photographs and examined the objects. These consist of a jar and lid, and also fragments of textile. On Tuesday 5 March Isabella Bossolino, accompanied by Dr Sandra Jacobs, examined and made drawings of the Qumran Cave 1Q jar and lid purchased by the British Museum from the Jordanian government. On this occasion the team would particularly like to thank Dr Christos Gerontinis for taking time out to lift, position, and assist us throughout our study. Kindly note that preliminary images shown below  are copyrighted by the Network for the Study of Dispersed Qumran Cave Artefacts and Archives, and that they may not be used by others for publication purposes.

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Further French Reconnaissance Trip, 6-9 February, 2019

Professor Marcello Fidanzio travelled to Paris to consult with conservation specialists at the Musée du Quai Branly, during which time he was further able to re-examine the jar at the Louvre & consult further with Monsieur Henri de Contenson, excavator of Cave 3Q, who was previously featured in our earlier post. 

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

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USA Data Collection Trip 11-21 November 2018

In November 2018, DQCAAS organised the visit of Dennis Mizzi to the Oriental Institute (Chicago), the Metropolitan Museum (New York), the Walters Art Museum (Baltimore), the Harvard Semitic Museum (Boston), and the Endowment for Biblical Research (Boston), in order to carry out renewed analysis of Qumran jars and lids held in these collections. It was arranged that he would be accompanied with Ms. Isabella Bossolino who undertook technical drawings and created a photographic dossier.

The purpose of this trip was to examine the jars afresh and prepare these new drawings that would rectify some inaccuracies identified in the earlier ones. For instance, the jar at the Oriental Institute (Q45) – illustrated in the feature image – is slightly lop-sided, which is at odds with the symmetrical jar illustrated in the ÉBAF card index – published in M. Fidanzio and J.-B., “Finds from the Qumran Caves: Roland de Vaux’s Inventory of the Excavations (1949–1956),” in The Caves of Qumran: Proceedings of the International Conference, Lugano 2014 (STDJ 118; ed. M. Fidanzio; Leiden: Brill, 2016) 263–332 [293].

Notably also the jar at the Metropolitan Museum of Art was reconstructed after it broke in transit. The reconstruction is better than the original one undertaken by the Palestine Archaeological Museum, but this also means that the drawing in DJD 1, Fig. 2:10 (jar Q40) is, therefore, inaccurate.

As part of our study for the Network, therefore, we sought to identify the objects in the museums and match them with the material excavated by de Vaux, in order to obtain a complete record of which jars are in which collection. This was made possible by correlating first-hand observations with the ÉBAF archival material and documents made available by the museums. Here, we would like to thank the respective curators for their warm welcome and for being forthcoming with all their records.

We are very grateful to Ms. Isabella Bossolino, who is a PhD candidate candidate at the University of Pavia and Université Panthéon-Sorbonne, whose interests include Etruscan and Greek art and archaeology, together with Early Iron Age Mediterranean iconography.  Having received her B.A. in Classics from the Università degli Studi di Pavia, Italy, Isabella earned her M.Phil. in Archaeology and Art History for her work on “Malak Vanth: iconography and functions,” which won the 2014 Claudia Maccabruni prize for the best archaeology thesis. Her diploma thesis on “Neck, Shoulder, Body, Foot. Thoughts on the Anatomy of Vessels,” undertaken at the Istituto Universitario di Studi Superiori, IUSS (Institute for Advanced Study of Pavia), is particularly useful for her work on our project, by providing technical drawings and digital images of the Qumran jars.

isabellaAt present Isabella is writing her thesis on the late Iron Age and Archaic cemeteries of Kamiros, Rhodes, and is also in charge of the publication of the early Iron Age cemeteries of Kamiros, in addition to ceramic materials from excavations conducted by the University of Pavia in Verucchio, 2011 – 2017.

 

 

 

Philip Davies’ Qumran Slide Collection (1970-71) now available

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.

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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 .

ANE and Bible case

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.

 

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Qumran at Seventy

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

 

 

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

wp_PEF March 8th 2018

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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