Scrolls began deteriorating in the caves while still rolled. If the layers of the scroll stuck together while deteriorating, the deterioration resulted in a pile of fragments stemming from the same area of the scroll. Such a pile is called here a wad.
The presence of wads is important not only for joining and reconstructing the columns, but also for reading the fragments and determining their relative order. This chapter will focus on identifying the wads, while the relative order of the fragments will be discussed in chapter 11.
Preservation in wads is documented in a few dozens of scrolls. While the layers of some wads were separated by various teams along the years, the wads of other scrolls remain piled up, either because they were unnoticed or because separating them would harm the skin (figure 14). In many cases the process of separating the wads or even the mere fact of their existence is documented in the formal edition of the scroll. Unfortunately, the existing documentation is not always complete or accurate. The result is that some scrolls that had originally survived in wads now appear as a collection of free-standing fragments. Previous editors of the scrolls have not always been aware of the existence of wads and therefore neglected to analyze them in their editions, sometimes leading to partial or even wrong conclusions. The methods below should thus be used as a standard by editors of the scrolls.
1 Methods for Tracing Layers that Are Still Attached
The following list describes measures that we used to identify layers that are still attached underneath a fragment:
The official publications sometimes record wads. For example, in the case of the scroll 4Q511, the editors note that frag. 51 is still attached above frag. 52, and that frag. 53 is attached above frag. 54.1
Several indicators for the presence of unidentified layers may be found through examination and comparison of every image of a fragment:
Lower layers may still be seen in the older PAM images near the edges of the main fragment. The edges may appear at first glance to be cracks, but after closer examination they attest to another layer. For example, in PAM 40.619 the fragment 4Q324d 4 is seen with frag. 2 underneath it (figure 15). These layers were later separated, as attested in subsequent PAM images.
When inconsistent line heights or of letter shapes is found, the existence of a wad should be suspected. For example, the wads of the scroll 4Q511 are clearly seen on PAM 41.691. The wads can be spotted not only by means of their very clear edges, but also in places where the line of writing from the lower layer is seen next to a line from the upper layer (figure 16).2
Tracing differences on the surface of the fragment (recto and verso) along its imaging history can also reveal that another layer is attached underneath the upper layer. Such differences are sometimes the outcome of – intentional or unintentional – separation of the upper layer of the wad, revealing sections of the next layer underneath. An example for this procedure is presented in detail in chapters 15–16 regarding 4Q418a 22.
There are many sorts of ink marks preserved on the verso of fragments, which can be used for further material observations. It is essential to check for ink marks on the verso, following the method described in chapter 6. While some such marks may have infiltrated from the recto, others did not, and may thus yield new hints for the scroll’s composition. Such ink marks may indicate the existence of an additional layer, whose ink has stuck to the upper layer while rolled. Examples are given below for 4Q418a 5, 14, 22 etc.
When clues for the existence of a wad appear, it is important to examine the actual fragment from multiple angles with a hand-held microscope. Having confirmed the preliminary suspicion, one may then estimate the number of layers in the wad. In some cases, letters from the lower layers will be legible. In others, the mere existence of those layers is important for estimating the amount of missing text in certain regions of the scroll and for determining the number of layers in the material reconstruction.
2 Methods for Identifying Fragments that Originated from Wads
The separation of wads was usually, but not always, documented. Documentation is found in the PAM images by means of numbers written on small pieces of paper next to the fragments. For example, Milik, who was the first to work on the scroll 4Q324d, did not achieve an edition of this scroll. If he had any notes about this work, they have been lost. Studying images of 4Q324d, we discovered that some of the fragments were preserved in wads. Information arose from PAM 40.619 (figure 15), where two fragments are still attached one on top of the other, and from PAM 41.962, where the fragments are already separated with numbers written next to them.
The scroll 1Q22, published by Milik in DJD I, is a parade example of recording the wads and using them for reconstruction. The wads are lucidly presented on the older PAM 40.511, shedding light on Milik’s reconstruction of this difficult scroll (see figure 17).3
Not all scholars of the first generation were as careful when recording their wads. Present-day editors should thus be alert to the possibility of finding wads. The possibility for the existence of a wad should be considered when several fragments share common shape and damage patterns, even if they are not preserved attached. This is in fact the case in many of the scrolls that have been restored using the Stegemann Method.4
Wads are significant key for the reconstruction of the fragments’ order in a scroll. This chapter suggested several methods for finding traces for such wads as a first step for placing the fragments in their original location.
This fact is noted in the two editions of 4Q511: Maurice Baillet, Qumrân grotte 4.III (4Q482–4Q520), DJD VII (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1982), 243–44; Angel, “Material Reconstruction,” 25–82, esp. 39.
For a reconstruction of these fragments see Angel, “Material Reconstruction,” 39–44.
See Józef T. Milik, “Dires de Moïse,” in Qumran Cave 1. DJD I. Ed. Dominique Barthélemy and Józef T. Milik (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1955), 91–97; Ariel Feldman, “Rewritten Scripture: Narrative and Law,” in Ariel Feldman and Liora Goldman, Scripture and Interpretation: Qumran Texts that Rework the Bible (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2014), 225–61. Note that the handwriting on PAM 40.511 (figure 17) is not Milik’s (thanks are due to E. Tigchelaar for this observation). See also Elgvin, “The Genesis Section,” 180–96, with regard to the scroll 4Q422, whose wads were marked by Strugnell and materially reconstructed by Elgvin.
For the Stegemann Method, see chapters 11 and 12.