I will give a paper at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies next Tuesday, 10 November 2020.
My paper is entitled “To Loot Or Not To Loot: Historical and Ethical Issues on Dead Sea Scrolls Provenance”.
Here is the abstract:
The Dead Sea Scrolls are one of the most important archaeological discoveries related to the Bible. But the (hi)story of their discovery by Bedouin, in the mid-twentieth century, is problematic and raises doubts as to their authenticity and provenance. Likewise, new manuscripts that surface on the antiquities market are dubious, and scholars have suggested that they should be ignored as they are unprovenanced, lest we become complicit in looting and trafficking. In this paper, I propose to go back to the early years of Dead Sea Scrolls scholarship in order to better understand if, how and why these scrolls were uncritically accepted. This, in turn, will help us figure out sound guidelines for handling and publishing such artefacts.
I’m looking forward to it! 😉