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Bedouin Wanders Across Biblical Manuscript
ABC News Online ^ | 7-15-2005

Posted on 07/15/2005 9:24:34 AM PDT by blam

Bedouin wanders across Biblical manuscript

Fragments of a Biblical manuscript dating back to the last Jewish revolt against Roman rule in 135 AD Judaea, have been uncovered near the Dead Sea.

After four decades with a dearth of new finds, archaeologists had resigned themselves to believing the desert caves in the modern-day West Bank had already yielded all their secrets from the Roman era.

"It's simply sensational, a dream come true," archaeology professor Hanan Eshel, a Biblical specialist at Israel's Bar Ilan University, said.

For the past 20 years, he has scoured the Judaean desert around the Dead Sea, overturning stone after stone in search of Biblical parchments.

He has been trumped by Bedouin, who stumbled across the miniature fragments last August.

Only a few centimetres long, the pieces contain extracts in Hebrew from the Biblical Book of Leviticus.

Damaged by bat droppings and lying under a film of dirt in a cave near the Ein Gedi oasis, the Bedouin pocketed the manuscripts and began an arduous bidding process with Professor Eshel.

"Thanks to this find, we now know a little more about the troubled period that gave rise to the Jewish revolt against the Romans," the Professor said.

Jewish revolt

The second Jewish revolt against Roman occupation, which was led by Simeon Bar Koshba, saw 900 Jewish towns and villages pillaged, 10,000 Romans killed, Jerusalem recaptured and Jews banned from entering its confines.

"We know these parchments came from a Torah scroll used by Jews in the spring of 135 during Passover, which they then hid in the caves to save it from the Roman legions," Professor Eshel said.

Historians believed Jews managed to hide 14 Torah scrolls in the caves, but Professor Eshel says the latest manuscripts prove there is a 15th such scroll.

The fragments have been further damaged by the Bedouin, who glued them together and stowed the whole thing in aluminium foil.

It was in this state that Professor Esher found and bought them for $US3,000, beating down the Bedouins' original asking price of $US20,000.

"Despite all this, we can identify the Hebrew letters," he said.

He points out words from Leviticus that relate to the escape of the Israelites from Egypt and the building of temporary shanty houses in the desert.

Manuscripts dating from the same period were discovered between 1952 and 1961 in the same area near the Dead Sea.

In 1947, the famous Dead Sea scrolls, dated to the first century BC, were discovered by chance in Qumran by an Arab shepherd.


TOPICS: Israel; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: across; archaeology; barkoshba; barkoshbarevolt; bedouin; biblical; eingedi; epigraphyandlanguage; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; history; letshavejerusalem; manuscript; parchment; scroll; wanders
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I don't do religion on FR so, you all have at it.
1 posted on 07/15/2005 9:24:37 AM PDT by blam
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To: SunkenCiv

GGG Ping.


2 posted on 07/15/2005 9:25:10 AM PDT by blam
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To: blam
Damaged by bat droppings and lying under a film of dirt in a cave near the Ein Gedi oasis, the Bedouin pocketed the manuscripts and began an arduous bidding process with Professor Eshel.

My English teacher would have pitied the Bedouin, damaged as he was by all those bat droppings.

Maybe my English teacher should apply for a job at ABC.

3 posted on 07/15/2005 9:29:11 AM PDT by ReadyNow
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To: blam

Awesome.


4 posted on 07/15/2005 9:29:35 AM PDT by Alexander Rubin
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To: blam
The main interest here will be to find any textual variants between this text from 135 and subsequent versions.

It's a small, but potentially useful, filling of an historical gap.

5 posted on 07/15/2005 9:30:19 AM PDT by wideawake (God bless our brave troops and their Commander in Chief)
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To: SunkenCiv
...another.

Sensational find in Germany: 600 year-old Papal seals

Greifswald, Germany
15 July 2005 12:34

In one of the most sensational archaeological discoveries in Germany, four papal seals dating back 600 years have been uncovered from a medieval toilet shaft in the northeastern city of Greifswald, officials said on Thursday.

The four round seals cast in lead date to the papacy of Pope Bonifatius IX (1389-1404). The 3,5cm seals, each weighing about 50g, bear the inscription "BONIFATIUS VIIII" on one side and images of the apostles Peter and Paul on the other.

Regional archaeology office director Hauke Joens said the find -- in the shaft of a toilet on the campus of Greifswald University -- was "sensational".

He noted that over the years, individual papal seals would occasionally be found in various places. But the Greifswald find was the first in which several papal seals were discovered.

The seals were first discovered last week by archaeologist Joerg Ansorge.

"When I turned up the first one, I was completely calm," Ansorge said. "But then when there was a second, a third and a fourth, my pulse rate shot up very high," the 40-year-old added.

The discovery came amid excavation work for new water pipelines on the university campus. The seals were buried in a wooden toilet shaft about 3m deep.

At this point, the archaeologists could only surmise that the four papal seals had perhaps been contained in a bag which was then given up for lost when it inadvertently fell into the toilet. But another theory was that the seals were thieves' booty.

The excavation work is part of renovation going on to help Greifswald University prepare for its 550th anniversary celebrations in 2006. Officials doubt that the papal seals were in any way connected to the university's official founding in 1456. - Sapa-DPA

6 posted on 07/15/2005 9:30:31 AM PDT by blam
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To: ReadyNow

LOL


7 posted on 07/15/2005 9:30:54 AM PDT by wideawake (God bless our brave troops and their Commander in Chief)
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To: blam
But another theory was that the seals were thieves' booty.

That sounds more likely.

8 posted on 07/15/2005 9:32:05 AM PDT by wideawake (God bless our brave troops and their Commander in Chief)
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To: ReadyNow
My English teacher would have pitied the Bedouin, damaged as he was by all those bat droppings.

And what of the manuscript with his "wanderings" all over them?

9 posted on 07/15/2005 9:34:07 AM PDT by N. Theknow (If Social Security is so good - why aren't members of Congress in it?)
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To: blam

BTTT


10 posted on 07/15/2005 9:35:26 AM PDT by Fiddlstix (This Tagline for sale. (Presented by TagLines R US))
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Comment #11 Removed by Moderator

To: blam; FairOpinion; Ernest_at_the_Beach; StayAt HomeMother; 24Karet; 3AngelaD; asp1; ...
Thanks Blam.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list. Thanks.
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on, off, or alter the "Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list --
Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
The GGG Digest
-- Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)

12 posted on 07/15/2005 10:31:02 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (last updated by FR profile on Tuesday, May 10, 2005.)
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To: blam

you're a wise man!


13 posted on 07/15/2005 1:57:33 PM PDT by ken21 (it takes a village to brainwash your child + to steal your property! /s)
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To: SunkenCiv

gracias.


14 posted on 07/15/2005 1:57:57 PM PDT by ken21 (it takes a village to brainwash your child + to steal your property! /s)
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To: blam
It was in this state that Professor Esher found and bought them for $US3,000, beating down the Bedouins' original asking price of $US20,000.

Damn, I think the prof needs a little help with his negotiating skills.

15 posted on 07/15/2005 3:00:35 PM PDT by Straight Vermonter (John 6: 51-58)
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To: dennisw; Cachelot; Yehuda; Nix 2; veronica; Catspaw; knighthawk; Alouette; Optimist; weikel; ...
If you'd like to be on this middle east/political ping list, please FR mail me.

..........................................

16 posted on 07/15/2005 3:28:32 PM PDT by SJackson (On the second try, I got that jug off [the bear's head], but then I had a bear tied to a tree)
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To: blam
I don't do religion on FR so, you all have at it.

You just did!

17 posted on 07/15/2005 3:30:10 PM PDT by SJackson (On the second try, I got that jug off [the bear's head], but then I had a bear tied to a tree)
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To: blam

Wonderful that this Jewish professor treasures Torah (the word of God).
Most Jews live by a Talmud, so far as I understand.


18 posted on 07/15/2005 3:35:33 PM PDT by Spirited
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To: SJackson
"You just did!"

Nah. It's an archaeological discovery to me.

19 posted on 07/15/2005 4:32:04 PM PDT by blam
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To: ReadyNow
Damaged by bat droppings and lying under a film of dirt in a cave near the Ein Gedi oasis, the Bedouin pocketed the manuscripts and began an arduous bidding process with Professor Eshel.

My English teacher would have pitied the Bedouin, damaged as he was by all those bat droppings.

Must have been those high-velocity bat droppings. However, the layer of dirt should have offered him some concealment, especially considering his efforts to adopt a low profile by going prone (or was it supine?).

20 posted on 07/15/2005 5:39:47 PM PDT by nonsporting
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