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The Sciences And The Reconstruction Of The Ancient Scrolls: Possibilities And Impossibilities (Summary)

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Chapter Summary

Over the past five decades, the sciences have come to the aid in examining several material aspects of the scroll fragments, their coverings and stitching material. The sciences can help us in determining the date of the scrolls, whether fragments are derived from the same sheet by DNA, C14, and follicle patterns in parchment and fibers in papyrus. Advanced photographic techniques can retrieve previously unreadable letters and identify fragments and determining the relation between fragments of scrolls with the aid of computer-assisted research. The study of the Qumran scrolls is the study of fragments and sheets rather than that of complete scrolls. The chapter refers solely to the scientific examination of the fragments, and not to the identification and reconstruction on the basis of content.

Keywords: ancient scrolls; C14; DNA; follicle patterns; papyrus fibers; parchment; Qumran scrolls



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