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:
We 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.
Off-site storage, World Museums Liverpool.
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.
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.
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.
Aware that Dr G. Bushnell at the Cambridge Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology had helped Elizabeth Crowfoot mount the Qumran linen in perspex, Joan Taylor got in touch with Imogen Gunn (Collections Manager, Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge), to find out whether there may have been any Qumran materials held in their collection.The museum holds a piece of linen (Accession No. 1952:21, currently identified as “cotton”), catalogued as “prehistoric,” and described as follows: “Piece of plain woven cotton textile, mounted between two thin Perspex sheets. Wrapping from biblical scrolls.(Dimensions 11 inches in length; width 15 inches; source: Jordanian Department of Antiquities; place: Asia, West Asia, Palestine.” A further note on the catalogue card states: “Part of the wrappings of the recently discovered Biblical scrolls found in a cave in the Jordan valley. “ And in a later hand “i.e. the Dead Sea Scrolls.”
A handwritten letter from Dr Gerald Lankaster Harding, dated 27 July 1951, to Dr G. Bushnell confirms that the material was gifted to the University of Cambridge from the Jordanian Department of Antiquities, in acknowledgment of the help and kindness shown to Ms. Crowfoot. The letter has no archive reference and is currently held in the Museum’s 1951 correspondence file. https://www.instagram.com/p/BI5IV4hD-WB/