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