CONTACT: MARY GERAGHTY
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0011; fax (319) 384-0024
Archaeologist to speak about excavating and reading Dead Sea Scrolls
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa School of Religion will continue
its series of lectures on the Dead Sea Scrolls with two presentations by
Jodi Magness, associate professor of Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology
at Tufts University Sunday, April 5 and Monday, April 6.
Magness's lecture is this year's Sonia Sands Memorial Lecture. This
lectureship was made possible by generous gifts to the School of Religion
by friends of Sands who wished to honor her many years of friendship and
counsel to Jewish students at the UI. Her presentations, both titled "Reading
the Ruins: An Archeologist Interprets Qumran," focuses on the archaeology
of Qumran, which is adjacent to the caves where the scroll fragments that
are known collectively as the Dead Sea Scrolls were found.
Magness's slide-illustrated lecture explains the connection between
the Qumran site and the scrolls from the caves. The Dead Sea Scrolls comprise
the remains of more than 800 different scrolls, which include Biblical
books and related literature, and literature describing the beliefs and
practices of the Jewish sect that deposited the scrolls in the caves. Many
scholars identify this sect with the ancient Essenes. At least some of
the members of this group lived at the site of Qumran.
Magness's presentation is offered in conjunction with a year-long photographic
exhibit in the UI School of Religion celebrating the 50th anniversary of
the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. UI religion professor George Nickelsburg
created the exhibit, "Discoveries by the Dead Sea: The Scrolls Fifty
Years Later," which is on display through May 1998 on the third floor
of Gilmore Hall. In the collection of nearly 50 photos, visitors can view
the site of the discovery, learn about the people who discovered the scrolls,
and begin to understand the beliefs, practices, frustrations, and hopes
of the scrolls' authors.
The Sunday, April 5 lecture begins at 2 p.m. in Room 106 Gilmore Hall.
April 6 lecture begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Shambaugh Auditorium in the
Main Library. Both lectures are free and open to the public.
For further information, contact the UI School of Religion at (319)