Media and Communication Service
The Istituto di Cultura e Archeologia delle Terre Bibliche of the Facoltà di Teologia di Lugano (ISCAB FTL) and Università della Svizzera italiana (USI) have carried out an excavation in Qumran Cave 11Q headed by Prof. Dr. Marcello Fidanzio (Director of the "Ambiente Biblico” department of the ISCAB FTL) and Prof. Dr. Dan Bahat (ISCAB FTL). The excavation was achieved with the helpful contribution of Lidor Gilad (USI Academy of Architecture) and Giacomo Berchi (USI Faculty of Communication Sciences).
Inside Cave 11Q, in 1956, the Bedouin had discovered the remains of around 30 Dead Sea Scrolls, including some of the best preserved specimens: the Psalm Scroll, the Temple Scroll, and the Paleo Leviticus Scroll. After the discovery, the cave was excavated by Father Roland de Vaux (École Biblique et Archéologique Française, Jerusalem EBAF), and later in 1988 and 1991, by Dr. Joseph Patrich (then University of Haifa) but, except for the manuscripts, the archaeological materials found during these excavations are thus far not fully published.
The main goals of the 2017 campaign were to complete the archaeological investigation of the cave, to clarify some issues that resulted from the previous excavations and to prepare a scientific and comprehensive archaeological report of the cave. The main results of the campaign can be summarized as follows:
"It is now possible to publish the much-awaited final report on the archeology of Cave 11Q, adding the new discoveries and understanding of this campaign to the study of the previous excavations”, says Marcello Fidanzio, appointed by EBAF and FTL to publish the final report of the different excavations in Cave 11Q.
"The results of the 2017 campaign, alongside the studies on the previous excavations, will be discussed in a workshop dedicated to Cave 11Q in Lugano. This new event will gather some of the major international experts on the Qumran caves, all now focusing on Cave 11Q and its full publication, and it will take place next April 24th and 25th. On that occasion, 40 small manuscript fragments gathered in the excavation in 1956, so far unknown, will be presented for the first time.”
The excavation team was completed by some professionals and students: Dr. Alessandro Maifredi (geologist and speleologist, Centro Studi Sotterranei, Centro Studi Sotteranei); Giorgio Skory (photographer); Dr. Marco De Pietri (Università degli Studi di Pavia, regular collaborator at ISCAB on the Qumran Caves Publication Project) and Dr. Benedetta Torrini (Università degli Studi di Pisa, Facoltà Teologica dell’Italia Centrale, FTIC), archaeologists; Valentina Anzini (FTL), Davide Bergamasco (FTL), Paul Chikaodili Igwegbe (Studium Biblicum Franciscanum, Jerusalem SBF), and Chiara Mariotti (FTIC), students.
Prof. Dr. Marcello Fidanzio