Qumran und die Archaologie.

Author:Atkinson, Kenneth
Position:Book review

Qumran und die Archaologie. Edited by JURG FREY; CARSTEN CLAUSSEN; and NADINE KESSLER. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament, vol. 278. Tubingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2011. Pp. xi + 561, illus. 139 [euro].

This volume contains papers delivered at a 2008 conference at the Katholischen Akademie Schwerte, along with some additional essays, focusing on archaeological and textual contributions to the study of Khirbet Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls. The volume is divided into the following four sections: introduction, archaeological context, the texts and library, and architecture and the surrounding world. The book seeks to focus on the encounter between scholars working with the Dead Sea Scrolls and those interpreting archaeological contexts and artifacts from Qumran.

Part one, Introduction, contains the following essays: J. Frey, "Qumran und die Archaologie: Eine thematische Einfiihrung" (pp. 3-49); C. ClauBen, "Die Identifizierung der Grabungsstatte Khirbet Qumran: Eine forschungsgeschichtliche Annaherung" (pp. 51-72); D. Vieweger, "Text und (Be-) Fund: Archaologie und Exegese als Geschichtswissenschaften" (pp. 73-99); S. Huttig, "Archaologie versus Textforschung? Einige grundsatzliche Uberlegungen zum Verhaltnis von Archaologie und Textforschung am Beispiel der Erforschung von Khirbet Qumran" (pp. 101-18).

Frey summarizes the debates over the interpretation of Khirbet Qumran and ponders whether there is any relationship between the site and the scrolls. He highlights some methodological problems with the site's excavation, most notably de Vaux's interpretation of Qumran's loci in light of IQS and other texts. ClauBen explores the history of the exploration and interpretation of Qumran prior to de Vaux's excavations. The article includes some valuable observations of early explorers about the site's appearance before its excavations, especially its cemetery and water systems. Vieweger and HUttig explore the problems in attempting to incorporate archaeological evidence with textual research. The former writer uses examples of several biblical controversies ("Warren's Shaft," Tel-Dan Stele, Mesha Stele), while the latter discusses advances in "processual archaeology." Both authors fail to recognize that some Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered within the site of Qumran and dated to its occupation and therefore constitute archaeological artifacts whose connection with the site must be explained.

The second section includes studies devoted to archaeological...

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