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Discovery and Acquisition

Excerpt from A Prophet Amongst You, Neil Asher Silberman, Addison-Wesley, Reading, 1993.
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Excerpt from A Prophet Amongst You, Neil Asher Silberman, Addison-Wesley, Reading, 1993.

The afternoon of June 5, Eshkol’s cabinet remained convened for continuous consultations. Israeli progress into Sinai was proceeding according to schedule, and with operations against the Jordanians beginning, certain of the ministers—particularly Allon and the newly appointed minister-without-portfolio Menachem Begin—exerted considerable pressure for the IDF to capture the Old City of Jerusalem. During the night […]

Past Perfect: Shall I Go to Bethlehem?, Yigael Yadin, <i>Biblical Archaeology Review</i> (33:3), May/June 2007.
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Past Perfect: Shall I Go to Bethlehem?, Yigael Yadin, Biblical Archaeology Review (33:3), May/June 2007.

As the United Nations was deliberating over a resolution that would partition Palestine and recommend the establishment of a Jewish state, Hebrew University archaeologist Eleazar L. Sukenik, was pondering the risks of traveling to Bethlehem to see an Arab antiquities dealer who had for sale some ancient leather scrolls. Hostility between Jews and Arabs in […]

First “Dead Sea Scroll” Found in Egypt Fifty Years Before Qumran Discoveries: Solomon Schechter presages later Essene scholarship, Raphael Levy, <i>Biblical Archaeology Review</i> (8:5), Sep/Oct 1982.
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First “Dead Sea Scroll” Found in Egypt Fifty Years Before Qumran Discoveries: Solomon Schechter presages later Essene scholarship, Raphael Levy, Biblical Archaeology Review (8:5), Sep/Oct 1982.

Some call it the first Dead Sea Scroll—but it was found in Cairo and not in a cave. It was recovered in 1897 in a Genizah, a synagogue repository for worn-out copies of sacred writings. The gifted scholar who had found it, Solomon Schechter, gave it with a hoard of other ancient Hebrew manuscripts to […]

Early Publication Efforts, 1953–1967, Lawrence H. Schiffman, Reclaiming the Dead Sea Scrolls, Jewish Publication Society, Philadelphia, 1994.
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Early Publication Efforts, 1953–1967, Lawrence H. Schiffman, Reclaiming the Dead Sea Scrolls, Jewish Publication Society, Philadelphia, 1994.

De Vaux limited the initial assignments for publication to his colleagues at the École Biblique- Pierre Benoit, Jozef T. Milik, and Maurice Baillet. The three were responsible for archaeological reports, the sorting of the jigsaw puzzle of cave 4 fragments, transcription, and publication of the texts. By the spring of 1953, the enormous volume of […]

The Bible Scholar Who Became an Undercover Agent, Harry M. Orlinsky, Biblical Archaeology Review (18:4), Jul/Aug. 1992.
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The Bible Scholar Who Became an Undercover Agent, Harry M. Orlinsky, Biblical Archaeology Review (18:4), Jul/Aug. 1992.

It was about noon, Thursday, July 1, 1954. My wife and I had just seen our two sons off for their summer in Vermont. Our car was packed for a fortnight’s trip to Toronto, my wife was already seated in the car and I was locking the door when the telephone rang. We looked at […]

Overview: Discovery and Acquisition
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Overview: Discovery and Acquisition

The first Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in Cairo in 1896 by Solomon Schechter. In the attic of the Ben Ezra Synagogue, scholars uncovered a storehouse—or genizah—for old and unused manuscripts, now referred to as the Cairo genizah. Among these manuscripts were two partial medieval manuscripts of what is now called the Damascus Document or […]