Much of the previous sixty years (1949-2009) have been devoted to the cleaning of the Dead Sea scrolls, their piecing together and their translation. The present volume is a scientific study of the various archaeological relics that have been found in the three units at Qumran: The settlement, the caves with the scrolls and the cemetery. With the aid of neutron activation of Qumran's pottery we established its human relations with neighboring sites, by radio carbon dating we placed the relics in their time frame, by DNA we study the provenance of the animal hides that served the scribes as parchment. The ink is studied for examining the degradation processes that started when the scrolls were written, 2000-2300 years ago.
Jan Gunneweg, Ph.D. 1981 in archaeometry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He has published many pottery provenance papers with the aid of neutron activation analysis and recently three scientific books on Qumran and the Dead Sea scrolls (2003, 2006, 2009).
Annemie Adriaens, Ph.D. (1993) in Chemistry, University of Antwerp, is Professor of Chemistry at Ghent University. She has published extensively on the topic of cultural heritage and science including a review on non-destructive analysis of museum objects (Spectrochimica Acta B 60 (2005) 1503–1516).
Joris Dik is associate professor at the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the Technical University of Delft, Netherlands. He focuses on multidisciplinary activities in materials in art and archaeology.
Contributors include : Annemie Adriaens, Mark Dowsett, Eberhard Lehmann, Yoav Farhi, Jan Gunneweg, L. Bouchenoire, Joris Dik, Lukas Helfen, Peter Reischig, Jorik Blaas, Katharina Galor, Marta Balla, Gila Kahila Bar-Gal, Tzviki Rosenberg, Charles Greenblatt, Bridget Murphy, Marine Cotte, Martin Mueller, Johannes van der Plicht, Kaare.L. Rasmussen, Ira Rabin, Oliver Hahn, Wolff, T. Kindzorra, E. Masic, A. Schade, U., G. Weinberg, Andrew Bond, Greg Doudna, Emanuel Tov, Sasja van der Vaart, Alexandra van den Broek, Laura Klerkx and Nanda de Vree.
All those interested in the Dead Sea scrolls, Qumran archaeology, DNA of parchment, tomography, Synchrotron Radiation, nuclear chemistry, history, religion, sectarianism, Christianity and epigraphy.