Sunday, February 15, 2009

MORE ON THE DEAD SEA SCROLL FRAGMENTS for sale in at a antiquarian book fair in San Francisco (San Francisco Chronicle):
George Houle, a seller from Los Angeles who is offering the Disney will and the Hepburn passport, said there's still a strong market - especially for high-end items. (Several booths were selling items for well under $100.)

That includes veteran bookseller Michael R. Thompson's three postage stamp-size pieces of the Dead Sea Scrolls, one of the higher-priced items at the fair, ranging from $135,000 to $275,000. The dark and leathery fragments, which date from between 50 B.C. and A.D. 68, were found in a cave on the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea in the Middle East. Encased in coaster-size pieces of glass, they're shaped like the state of Missouri, a rooster and a Chicken McNugget.

When asked to see the pieces, Thompson reveals that he's been holding the coveted religious documents in his jacket pocket.

"You put it in a big fancy case, and it pretty much screams out that 'This is worth something,' " said Thompson, figuring the items would be harder to steal when they're close to his chest.
Background here. This is the first I've heard of a third fragment. I have been assured that the two earlier mentioned fragments are being studied by scholars and will be published. I can't say any more right now.