Qumran and Dead Sea scroll research with neutrons and synchrotron radiation

by Jan Gunneweg (Hebrew Universität)

Thursday, September 1, 2011 from to (Europe/Berlin)
at HARWI ( Bldg.221/ HARWI Seminarroom )
Over half a century Qumran at the Dead Sea where the famous Dead Sea scrolls were found in the 1950s, has been interpreted as a farm, villa, Egyptian temple, a potter’s center and a convent for ascetics, the so-called Essenes, etc. etc.
Hereby, the Hebrew/Aramaic manuscripts were connected, or not—depending to whom one talked--, with the local population at Qumran or the Jerusalem Temple 2000 years ago.

Archaeologists, historians and textual scholars alike have studied the relics with the use of circular reasoning, thereby assuming that all the finds were connected.

The few scientific research that has been performed depended also largely on what the archaeologists gave as information, so that the same circular reasoning continued.

Since 1997, our team of 147 scholars from Science and Humanities has collaborated to start anew by looking at different aspects of the entire Qumran Cultural Heritage by using analytical techniques, to serve as a starting-point to solve Exegesis, History and lately restoration problems.

The primary goals of our research are to establish a link between the Qumranites and their environment (by INAA of pottery), to examine and date parchment scrolls, textiles and animal bones (by DNA, Radiocarbon and Synchrotron Radiation-based techniques), as well as trying to establish “Who wrote the Dead Sea scrolls and where” (by nuclear as well as SR techniques) by analyzing scroll parchment and ink that started at the ESRF at Grenoble and continues now at HZG/DESY in Hamburg.

Gastgeber : Prof. M. Müller

Der Vortrag wird per Videokonferenz übertragen in den Seminarraum Geb. 59 nach Geesthacht