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 ( 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.



Cave 1Q Linen at Cambridge Museum


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.