Twenty years ago, on the 50th anniversary of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, I produced a 14-minute documentary featuring audio I had collected for my radio program from presentations and interviews.
I also included audio from a series of public radio programs produced by University of Wisconsin professor Menahem Mansoor, from tape recordings which he bequeathed to me. These recordings included observations from William F. Albright (whom he had studied under), Yigael Yadin, and Roland DeVaux–key figures in the discovery and excavation of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Qumran community.
I am presenting this program from The Book & The Spade archives to mark the 70th anniversary of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
From our archives we present an interview from 20 years ago, when the half-century anniversary of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls was being observed. Peter Flint, a South African scholar who was a world leader in Dead Sea Scrolls scholarship, directed the Dead Sea Scrolls Institute at Trinity Western University in British Columbia.
We were sorry to hear that he passed away last November. He was 65 years old. Peter Flint was a gracious and informative guest and we were very pleased that we got to have him on TB&TS twice.
It’s been 70 years since the Dead Sea Scrolls were first discovered in a desert cave overlooking the Dead Sea near the ruins of Qumran. The value of that discovery has changed over the years as our understanding of the scrolls has changed. We discuss current perspectives on the Dead Sea Scrolls with Sidnie White Crawford, a Dead Sea Scrolls scholar and professor of the Hebrew Bible at the University of Nebraska.
There are a number of unpublished Dead Sea Scroll fragments in the possession of U.S. institutions. We discuss the significance and meaning of this situation, and whether they will be published soon. This story is one of the news digest items from the latest issue of ARTIFAX magazine.
The discovery of a large theater, apparently used for cultic worship, at the decapolis city of Hippos/Sussita is another news development reported in ARTIFAX. We discuss these stories and others from the latest issue.
Catching up with some of the archaeology stories in the news digests of the latest issue of our ARTIFAX magazine, co-editor Clyde Billington and I discuss some new Dead Sea Scrolls fragments that have been found. That is, they were found in some caves along the western shore of the Dead Sea but not at Qumran, rather further south near Masada, along Wadi Tze’elim.
Another discovery in the same cave (known as the Cave of the Skulls) is the Jerusalem Papyrus, which was one of our Top Ten biblical archaeology stories of 2016. This papyrus contains what appears to be the oldest mention of Jerusalem in the Hebrew language, dating to the 7th century B.C.
And finally, we discuss the recent proposition put forth by Douglas Petrovich, that the alphabetic Semitic inscriptions from Wadi el-Hol in Egypt and Serabit el-Khadem in the Sinai were actually written by ancient Hebrews.
For more than 60 years, the story of the Dead Sea Scrolls discovery has included mention of the 11 caves in which scrolls and scroll materials were found. Then, earlier this year, it was announced that Cave #12 has been identified. A new effort to identify caves with archaeological contents along the shore of the Dead Sea has begun.
On this program we talk with professor Randall Price, one of the leaders of this year’s Cave #12 excavation for more details on the cave search and what’s ahead.
The 11 caves in which Dead Sea Scroll materials were found more than a half century ago have been joined by one more cave, cave #12. No new scrolls were found, but archaeologists did unearth evidence of scroll storage jars and related materials left behind by looters who plundered the site decades ago. We discuss this find and several other sites where archaeology is going on this year with John DeLancey, who will be the co-leader of our May 2018 TB&TS Israel Study tour.
In the second program we continue to review some of the most interesting sites in Israel where excavations are planned for 2017. This is an annual feature which gives listeners an idea of where Biblical Archaeology is focused right now, and it also serves to remind listeners that these are all opportunities where volunteers can get involved and do some hands-on biblical research. As William Dever once said, on The Book & The Spade program, “The only new facts about the Bible and the biblical world are coming from the ground.”