Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Drori and the Scrolls

A number of sites have noted the death of Gen. Amir Drori, noted for serving as head of the Israeli forces during the Lebanon incursion of 1982 and former head of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

I am surprised that none of the stories I have read about Drori have noted his importance for the story of Dead Sea Scrolls. It was during his tenure as head of the IAA that John Strugnell was deposed as head of the scrolls publication team (at Drori's order) and Emanuel Tov was installed. This marked a key watershed in the history of the publication of the Qumran material. It was also during Drori's tenure that the scroll "cabal" was broken by Ben Wacholder and Marty Abegg and that Tov ordered that all the scroll photographs be opened to examination by scholars. I think that's worth a line in the official obituaries.

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