...Last of the archeologists to speak was Dr. Hanan Eshel himself. He gave a rundown of the history of Refuge Cave discoveries in modern Israel. His big surprise was an unknown "forgotten" scroll known simply as "174" that was written in beautiful cursive script with a mix of Hebrew and Aramaic and that used – for the first time – the following date: "Year Four of the Destruction of Bet Israel" ("Bet Yisrael" is – according to some – the name of the "State" of Israel at the time of the BKR, as is used in documents from Murbaat and Hever).
…four years after the end of the BKR, a woman named Miriam bat Yaakov from Shaalavim (!) had a document written up, and it was hidden in an archive in a cave (the Sela cave, according to Dr. Eshel) that was used *during the revolt* in the southern Hebron hills! It was commonly thought that after the BKR was over, that area of Israel was no longer inhabited by Jews until the Byzantine Period, since the Romans had wiped them out and prevented new Jewish settlement. But here we have proof that in 140 C.E., Jews were not only living in Harei Hevron, but they came back to the *very same Refuge Cave* that they used *during* the revolt, and used it as an archive.
Eshel went back to the Sela cave in 2009…and found that Bedouins were still digging there! To complicate matters more, they claimed that since they found some of the BK scrolls in a PA-controlled area, the State of Israel has no right to them… Dr. Eshel said that there needs to be a serious effort made to secure these important documents in the near future.
Tuesday, February 09, 2010
Thefts Still Going On
From a description of a book launch last night on Bar Kochba Revolt (BKR) period caves and assorted finds: