Wednesday, May 02, 2018

New DSS bits

TECHNOLOGY WATCH: NASA Technology Reveals Existence of Missing Dead Sea Scroll. High-resolution photography finds writing not visible with the naked eye on fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and paleo-Hebrew writing that hints at a scroll never seen before (Ruth Schuster, Haaretz).
Advanced imaging technology originally developed for NASA has revealed previously unnoticed writing on fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Israel Antiquities Authority revealed on Tuesday. Moreover, one of the newly discerned and deciphered passages, written in early Hebrew, hints at the existence of a scroll never found and still unknown to researchers.

This story isn't that complicated, but much of the media is having trouble figuring it out. This Haaretz article gives the best coverage I have seen.

In brief: new imaging technology was used on some apparently blank scroll fragments from Cave 11. The fragments are very small. The technology found writing on some of the fragments. The writing included a bit from the Temple Scroll, a bit from Psalm 147 from the Great Psalms Scroll, and a bit in paleo-Hebrew script which has not yet been connected with any other known text. There were also fragments with material from Leviticus and Deuteronomy.

There's nothing earthshaking on these fragments (although the one of Psalm 147 did include a variant). But I commend the Israel Antiquities Authority and the Hebrew University for their thorough work on the Dead Sea Scrolls. They are clearly determined to recover every bit of information that is on them. As I like to say ...

Bit by bit, a letter at a time, whatever it takes. Until we're done.

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