This book was written as part of the research in the project Scripta Qumranica Electronica (henceforth SQE), with generous funding by the Deutsche-Israelische Projektkooperation (DIP), project number BE 5916/1-1. The principal investigators of this complex project are Reinhard Kratz, Nachum Dershowitz, Pnina Shor (later replaced by Joe Uziel), and Jonathan Ben-Dov. Shani Tzoref is a founding member of the project and contributed significant insights in its initial stages. The methods developed and presented in this book are part of the efforts and research ventures developed within SQE, and stand in consultation with other teams of the project. We feel privileged for the opportunity to cooperate with the various team members from Göttingen, Jerusalem, and Tel-Aviv. This book has especially benefited from the two workshops held in the framework of the project: Data, Vision, and Concepts (Göttingen, July 2016), and Digital Scholarly Editions and the Dead Sea Scrolls (Haifa, October 2018). We are grateful to Bronson Brown-deVost and Peter Porzig, the organizers of the Göttingen workshop, and to Annette Steudel for her instruction in the methods of material reconstruction.
The present book recounts a series of activities carried out by means of computerized tools, mainly such graphic software as GIMP and Adobe InDesign. These programs were not originally meant for working on scroll fragments, and their abilities and technical requirements thus exceed the normal requirements from the average DSS scholar. The SQE workspace at
Our project fundamentally relies on the multispectral images, expertly taken by Shai Halevi and kindly supplied to us by the team of the Scrolls Unit of the Israel Antiquities Authority, headed by Pnina Shor and now by Joe Uziel. The photographer Shai Halevi was most helpful in taking special photos of the fragment 4Q418a 22 and its layers. We are grateful to the IAA team for their cooperation along the way: Orit Rosengarten and Beatriz Riestra for their substantial efforts in numerous matters; Oren Ableman for his attention in registering every fragment and piece of skin, proving useful for locating lost fragments; and the conservators Lena Libman and Tanya Bitler for their useful instruction and expert treatment.
Permission to publish the numerous images from the Leon Levy Digital Library in this volume has been granted according to the regulations of the Israel Antiquities Authority. Images from the Shrine of the Book at the Israel Museum were kindly provided by Hasia Rimon and Yael Barschak.
It has been a pleasure to work in cooperation with computer scientists and software developers, who keep revealing new worlds to us, prompting us into rethinking our methods with an eye towards digitization and data. The team in Tel-Aviv University, headed by Nachum Dershowitz and Lior Wolff and operated most of the time by Adiel Ben-Shalom, has been a constant source of support and advice. The database of the Qumran Wörterbuch, developed and run by Ingo Kottsieper and directed by Reinhard Kratz, has been a superb source of inspiration and instruction for us in the ways of storing and handling data. Daniel Stökl Ben Ezra, now a leader of many digital humanities projects, gave us the original impetus for creating digital canvasses of scrolls, and was a constant source of support and advice along the way. The textual branch of SQE at Tel-Aviv University, headed by Noam Mizrahi, proved useful in many ways during our workshops and online discussions.
The present book represents joint and equal work by the three authors, listed in alphabetical order. Joint work also produced chapters 15 and 16, for which Eshbal Ratzon is the primary author. Not a frequent mode of operation in the humanities, this joint work was beneficial for us and for the outcome of the project. It is great pleasure to work in a team, and we would like to express mutual appreciation and gratitude. The team’s work gained significantly – in both intellectual content and collegial atmosphere – from additional members of the team at the Universities of Haifa and Tel Aviv. Einat Tamir has been especially resourceful in the complicated matters of font design, and Anna Shirav supported the fragment work on copies of Instruction and helped copy-edit the present manuscript. Other friends and colleagues of the team along the years of working on this book are: Moshe Diengott, Hila Dayfani, Shlomi Efrati, Yoel Halevy, in addition to Yigal Bloch, Alexey Yuditsky, and Joshua Matson. Einat Tamir and Rivkah Madmoni helped in performing the font experiment described in Appendix 1.
While working with fragments we benefitted from the wisdom and experience of Elisha Qimron and Eibert Tigchelaar. Eibert Tigchelaar also served as the reader of this volume for STDJ, and together with Torleif Elgvin, who served as the other reader, provided numerous helpful comments. Martin Abegg volunteered to read too and offered valuable comments. We thank them and the editor of the series, George Brooke, for the dedicated feedbacks in various stages of the work. The responsibility of course remains with us.
Rani Arieli and David Guez offered invaluable help in validating the various mathematical formulations found in the book, for which we are enormously thankful. Together with Moshe Diengott, they worked many hours to proofread the calculations throughout the book. Shayna Sheinfeld provided us with dedicated and professional editing: language, style, bibliography, and formatting. The final shape of the book is due very much to her able work. Emma Rapoport prepared the indices and pointed out several last typos. Dirk Bakker from Brill expertly oversaw the typesetting and proofs, for which we are deeply grateful.
Last but not least, we are fortunate to have worked with Reinhard Kratz, who spent an entire semester in Haifa during the project’s work, and generously offered us much advice and instructive assistance. In fact, the very idea to make this study into a monograph was suggested by him, and we are deeply indebted to him for that.