The Copper Scroll

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The Copper Scroll is the only Dead Sea scroll on metal. It is a ‘treasure map’ of the hiding places probably used to conceal the vast Temple treasure before it was ransacked by the Romans in 70 AD.

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                                                     The  Copper  Scroll  


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  T   unrolled.   he  Copper  Scroll  is  the  only  Dead  Sea  scroll  on  metal.     It  is  a  ‘treasure  map’  of  the  hiding  places  probably   used  to  conceal  the  vast  Temple  treasure  before  it  was   ransacked  by  the  Romans  in  70  AD.       Henri  de  Contenson  (top),  a  French  archaeologist,  and  Józef   Milik,  a  famous  early  Dead  Sea  Scrolls  scholar,  discovered  the   Copper  Scroll  accidentally  in  1952  in  Cave  3  near  Qumran   during  a  survey  of  the  hundreds  of  caves  along  the  western   shore  of  the  Dead  Sea.   The  Copper  Scroll  was  found  in  two  pieces,  rolled  and  buried  in  the  cave.     After  2000  years  hidden  there,  it  had  become  corroded  and  could  not  be  


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I   n  order  to  separate  and  unroll  the  fragile  scroll,   in  1955  the  two  rolls  were  sent  to  the  Manchester   College  of  Technology  in  England  where,  with  a   fine  saw,  they  were  cut  into  23  cylindrical  segments.   Forty  years  later,  and  after  further  deterioration,  the   segments  were  sent  by  the  Jordanian  Department  of   Antiquities  to  the  Laboratoire  EDF-­‐‑Valectra  in  Paris   for  restoration  and  scientific,  scholarly  analysis.   Fragment  15  (left)  showing  the  Hebrew  letters   pounded  into  the  copper,  is  part  of  the  11th  column   of  text  and  is  an  example  of  how  each  of  the  strips   looked  after  restoration.  The  scroll  names  the   location  of  the  many  hiding  places  of  the  treasure,   and  lists  a  vast  quantity  of  silver  and  gold.  


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solid  copper  replica  of  the  original  scroll.    After  two  years’  work,  the  process  is   now  nearing  completion  with  the  first  set  due  in  May  2014.   The  scroll  is  approximately  2.4  metres  in  length,  30cm  wide  and  1mm  thick.   Made  of  copper,  the  precise  outline  of  the  edges  and  minutes  holes  of  the   original  will  be  faithfully  reproduced  and  finished  by  hand.   The  facsimile  edition,  strictly  limited  to  10  sets,  will  be  presented  in  archival   storage  cases.  The  scholarly,  two-­‐‑volume  photographic  record  in  colour   chronicling  in  detail  Laboratoires  EDF-­‐‑Valectra’s  restoration  of  the  scroll   accompanies  the  facsimile.  The  volumes  contain  a  fascinating  commentary,   transcription  and  translation.  700  pages  size  37x28cm,  main  text  in  French  (an   English  translation  is  in  progress  and  will  be  provided  free  of  charge  when  ready.)   Three  sections  of  the  Copper  Scroll  prior  to  patination  and  ageing  (left)   U   tilising  Laboratoire  EDF-­‐‑Valectra’s  research  as  a  basis,  Facsimile   Editions  of  London  is  working  with  3D  imaging  specialists,   metallurgists  and  patinators  to  reconstruct  the  23  strips  into  an  exact  


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                      Facsimile  Editions  Limited   40  Hamilton  Terrace   London  NW8  9UJ   England   Telephone:   +44  20  7286  0071   Fax:   +44  20  7266  3927   E-­‐‑mail:   post@facsimile-­‐‑   Web:   www.facsimile-­‐‑  



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