New Test Suggests Dead Sea Scrolls Made Locally
In the News: Researchers in an Italian lab have used a new, non-destructive technique ("XPIXE" — X-ray and Particle Induced X-ray emission) to test small samples of the Temple Scroll from Qumran to find clues about its origins. The test focused on determining the kind of water used to make the scroll, and found that the ratio of chlorine to bromine within the Temple Scroll fragments that were examined was very high, about the level found in the very salty Dead Sea water. This suggests that the scroll's parchment was made locally, using water from the Dead Sea, which, of course, is adjacent to Qumran. The find is significant, because there is much current scholarly debate about whether the settlement at Qumran is in fact, as the standard interpretation has held, to be equated with the apocalyptic community that wrote much of the sectarian literature of the scrolls.
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