Saturday, July 7, 2018

Yardeni on Unprovenanced Artifacts

In memory of Ada Yardeni, BAR has given open access to Yardeni's contributions. One in particular struck me, where she gives her own take on publishing unprovenanced artifacts, which is worth highlighting:

"I think that anybody who is interested in the history of the Biblical lands, of the religions that developed in it, and of the neighboring regions understands the importance of discovering and publishing ancient objects, whether inscribed or not, for a better understanding of our past. Unprovenanced antiquities should be carefully examined, and if there is no obvious reason to reject them as forgeries, they should be published by scholars—the same as those found in controlled excavations. We can hope for more authorized excavations, but it would be ridiculous to ignore the existence of treasures that can enrich our knowledge—or to put back into caves or bury in the earth these important finds—just because they came from the antiquities market."

1 comment:

  1. Ada Yardeni was indeed expert and learned and very helpful. For example, it was she who perceived what others had missed: King Jonathan in 4Q448. (This ms, imo, and in the opinion of at least six others, is likely *against* him. Bibliography in "Jannaeus, His Brother, and Judah the Essene" online p. 10-11 and endnotes.) Also her 2007 "Note on a Qumran Scribe" assigning one scribe penning many mss in several Qumran caves accords with the view of Qumran as a sort of Tabernacle in the wilderness where scrolls were carefully deposited over decades--not all at once as refugee stash as de Vaux and a sockpuppet got wrong--nor as permanent genizah, but awaiting a new, purified temple. All that said, detecting forgeries was perhaps not Dr. Yardeni's strongest suit.