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A Material Approach to the Qumran Quest. When, How, and Why Were Dead Sea Scrolls Deposited to the Natural Caves?



Fidanzio M.



The discovery of scrolls in caves in the vicinity of Qumran (1947-1956) has greatly influenced the studies of Jewish religious literature of the Second Temple period. Alongside the textual information, the scrolls found near Qumran offer for the first time the opportunity to study physical manuscripts dating from the late 2nd century BCE to 1st CE and to consider them in their archaeological context. The present research will investigate the immediate material context in which the Qumran scrolls were found. Following the recent report on Cave 11Q, it will focus on the other natural caves where manuscripts were found in the 20th century: Caves 1Q, 2Q, 3Q, and 6Q. Through a multidisciplinary approach (archaeology, archaeometry, geology, topography), the research will provide a thorough reconstruction of the material contexts of the caves, focusing on the time of deposition of the scrolls. A comparative analysis between the examined caves, as well as with the other caves in the Qumran area, and with other finds from the region, will complete the examination of the material culture. Carrying out these operations will make it possible to address some key issues for the understanding of Qumran: the chronology of the deposition(s); the mode of deposition; the function of the caves relating to the manuscripts deposition(s); the relationship between the natural caves and the nearby settlement. These investigations will offer elements to study when, how, and why the scrolls were deposited in the caves, framing the discussion on the nature of the manuscripts assemblages, the circumstances

Informazioni aggiuntive

Data d'inizio
Data di fine
48 Mesi
Enti finanziatori
In corso
Swiss National Science Foundation / Project Funding