Jan Gunneweg, born in Kethel en Spaland, the Netherlands, in 1939. Ph.D. from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Recently retired as Professor at the Institute of Archaeology at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Lorentz Fellow (1 September 2007 – 30 June 2008)
TRANS-DISCIPLINARY RESEARCH REGARDING QUMRAN’S BIO- AND MATERIAL CULTURES, INCLUDING THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS’ CONSERVATION
As has happened often in the past -Spinoza being only one example- once again Dutch society in the form of its institution, NIAS, allows scholars to undertake transdisciplinary research in the domain of Humanities, Social Science and Hard Science. In my case, NIAS made my ten month stay possible, coupled with the Lorentz Center Workshop on “Holistic Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls”.
In the process, scientific experts contributed by presenting their latest analytical results in DNA, the study of provenance and dating of Qumran artifacts. In addition, a gender perspective on male Qumran society was shown as well as what scroll paleographers want from Science was made explicit. The future generation, comprising selected students from TU Delft and Leiden University, were given new insights into transdisciplinary study by participating in, and delivering a chemistry approach regarding the theoretical fabrication of soap at Qumran. All this will appear in the Brill Series of DJD, and in a popular monograph encompassing two previously published scientific studies on Qumran which I have written.