Saturday, December 11, 2010

New Qumran Discovery?

Jim West posted a story about the 2004 discovery of a sealed Jar at Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. Here is the article.

An intact, sealed, jar has been discovered at Qumran, the site where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found in nearby caves.

A multinational team of scientists have been analyzing the jar and their findings are set to be published in the journal Archaeometry. If you have a subscription (or access to a library with one) you can already see the article on the publication’s website.

“The finding of an intact and sealed storage jar is an extremely rare event,” the researchers write. The discovery “provides a unique possibility to analyse its last contents.”

Altogether nine scientists are credited in the paper. Kaare Lund Rasmussen, of the University of Southern Denmark, is listed at the lead author.

The jar itself was excavated in 2004. It was found about 50 meters south of Qumran in an uninhabited area that may have been used for agriculture. Animal bones and pottery shards were unearthed nearby. The group that found it was led by Randall Price of Liberty University and Oren Gutfeld of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Pictures of the jar are published in the journal article. The rights to them appear to be held by the excavation group and a request to have them republished on this website was not granted as of press time.

“The intact jar, named Jar-35, was sealed with an overturned bowl fastened as a lid,” Rasmussen’s team writes. “When the lid was lifted and a camera lowered into the interior, a deposit up to 3 cm thick was discovered lining the bottom and the sides.”

This is the first I have heard of it. If it is true it would be a major new find. But waiting 6 years to reveal the Jar's contents or even announce the discovery seems suspicious. As Jim says, this could be like when Geraldo Rivera opened Al Capone's vault. NOTHING!

The fact that Randall Price is involved makes me suspect it is all hype.

Has anyone else heard about this over the last 6 years?

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