God Before the Hebrews
Treasures of Darkness goes back to the Mesopotamian roots of Biblical religion By Tikva Frymer-Kensky

What, if anything, can we learn about Biblical religion from the vast quantities of material relating to Mesopotamian religion? The answer is: a great deal. No single volume provides better evidence for this conclusion than the recently published and widely acclaimed book by Thorkild Jacobsen, The Treasures of Darkness—A History of Mesopotamian Religion.a Jacobsen […]

The Dayan Saga—The Man and His Archaeological Collection

Beginning October 14, 1982, the Israel Museum in Jerusalem will exhibit a few selected highlights from the Moshe Dayan collection of antiquities, which the museum recently acquired for $1 million following Dayan’s death a year ago. In this preview, about 15 of the outstanding examples of the huge collection, comprising 800 to 900 objects, […]

First “Dead Sea Scroll” Found in Egypt Fifty Years Before Qumran Discoveries
Solomon Schechter presages later Essene scholarship By Raphael Levy

Some call it the first Dead Sea Scroll—but it was found in Cairo and not in a cave. It was recovered in 1897 in a Genizah, a synagogue repository for worn-out copies of sacred writings. The gifted scholar who had found it, Solomon Schechter, gave it with a hoard of other ancient Hebrew manuscripts […]

Essene Origins: Palestine or Babylonia?
Some Essenes may have survived almost 1000 years after Qumran

The preceding article described the discovery, 50 years before the Dead Sea Scrolls were found, of what has been dubbed the “First Dead Sea Scroll.” It was found in Cairo in 1897 and became known to scholars as the Damascus Document. Fragments of other earlier copies of the Damascus Document were later found in the Dead Sea caves.