Monday, February 24, 2014

Lugano Research Seminar on the History of the Caves of Qumran

I just returned from Lugano, Switzerland from a Research Seminar on the History of the Caves of Qumran on 20-21 February. The conference was well-attended, and was heavily dominated by discussions of the archaeology and interrelationships between the caves and the settlement of Qumran, which was very helpful for those more text-focused like me. Two text highlights are worthy of note.

1) Yonatan Adler announced the discovery of 9 (possibly 10) previously unknown tefillin slips found inside of unopened tefillin cases from Qumran. The slips have not yet been opened and read, but they promise to be very interesting.

2) Torleif Elgvin flattened out three leather fragments from the Schøyen collection he had considered to be uninscribed to find two fragmentary lines matching the known text of 4Q252 (Commentary on Genesis A). He suggested that this may be a second copy of this commentary.

We eagerly anticipate the full publication of these exciting discoveries!


  1. Drew,

    a number of unopened capsules are known of and mentioned in Milik's edition of the tefillin. Are the 9 (or 10) tefillin slips from those capsules, or have they found other previously not well known of capsules tucked away somewhere?


    Matthew Hamilton

  2. Matthew,

    Most (if not all) of them were previously known capsules. I can't recall for certain if any of the cases were newly discovered/catalogued. Hope that helps!