Jews? What Jews?

DEAD SEA SCROLLS EXHIBIT CANCELED IN FRANKFURT OUT OF CONCERN THAT THEY MIGHT BELONG TO THE PALESTINIANS

Jews? What Jews?Imagine the ridiculousness of this: The Palestinians claim that the Jews have no historical connection to Eretz Yisrael, Yerushalayim or the Har Habayis. Nevertheless, they still wish to claim that they are the rightful owners of the Dead Sea Scrolls. In other words, there were never any Jews there—but we want their scrolls anyway! It is this claim, already made during the negotiations leading up to the Oslo Accords in 1993, which caused the recent cancelation of a long-planned exhibition of the Dead Sea Scrolls at the Frankfurt Bible Museum. Like the almost two dozen other Dead Sea Scrolls exhibits that have been held throughout the world, this latest one was to take place in close cooperation with the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA).

Read the rest of this article from Ami Magazine.

The Dead Sea Scrolls at 70

What Have We Learned?

Qumran Cave 4The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered between 1947 and 1956. After an initial flurry of excitement, the scrolls went into a period of quiet withdrawal. When I entered the field in the 1960s, only a few of the scrolls had been published. Those were the ones that were preserved in the Israel Museum that, in 1965, built a home for them known as the Shrine of the Book. A small number of the many texts discovered in the early 1950s while the West Bank was under Jordanian administration had subsequently appeared. I was fascinated by the study of the scrolls, a then little-known and underappreciated group of documents.

Read the rest of the article from the Jewish Tribune.

Make No Bones about It!

Make No Bones about ItAncient trash reveals the eating habits of Jews 2,000 years ago

Sometimes archaeologists discover more or less what we would expect, or so it seemed from a recent news story. It was reported that Tel Aviv University archaeologists, investigating Bayis Sheini-period Jerusalem, had discovered evidence that Jews of that era were eating lots of sheep and goats, smaller numbers of chickens and cows, and guess what—no pork. The study was based on an analysis of some 5,700 animal bones excavated in the area of the City of David (officially Area D3, termed the Southern Cut).

The project was part of a general trend to turn towards aspects of daily life in archaeological research. In fact, all over the world archaeologists have been turning to garbage as a source for information about how people lived. In this excavation, the archaeologists, led by Tel Aviv University’s Dr. Yuval Gadot, were even able to determine that the animals tended to be older, hence less expensive, and not the best cuts of meat available on the market. They therefore concluded that the garbage had not come from the city’s elite but rather from more simple people. Moreover, because pigeon bones were absent, they also… Continue reading