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Scrolls, Scripts and Stelae, Hershel Shanks, Biblical Archaeology Review (28:5), Sep/Oct 2002.


Scrolls Jar

A Norwegian collector shows BAR his rare inscriptions

If you have a Dead Sea Scroll for sale, you should get in touch with Martin Schøyen (pronounced Skoo-yen) in Oslo. He is a prime prospect. He already owns several Dead Sea Scroll fragments—making him one of the few individuals in the world (I can think of only one other) who owns Dead Sea Scroll material.

In his spacious London pied-à-terre, Schøyen also has one of the unusual pottery jars from Qumran in which the Bedouin found the first intact scrolls in 1947 or 1948.

He also owns a beautiful bronze inkwell (previously published in BAR) and a small bronze incense altar (see “Rare Incense Altar Raises Burning Questions,” in this issue) that purportedly come from the settlement at Qumran, where many of the scrolls were probably written.

Schøyen’s principal residence lies amid nondescript farmland at the foot of impressive rock cliffs, about 25 miles from Oslo. Approached by a dirt road, the main house, which he renovated two decades ago, was originally built in 1680. Some of the nearly 3-inch-thick planks in the floor date to the 12th century.

Read the rest of Scrolls, Scripts and Stelae in the online Biblical Archaeology Society Library.

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