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Research

The Qumran Institute plays an important role in the research into the ancient Judaism and the Dead Sea Scrolls. The staff is involved in the writing and editing leading scholarly publications. Currently, the institute works on two large research projects.

Projects

The first project derived from the NWO-VENI Grant awarded to Popović in 2009, and concerns the relation between the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Jewish revolt against the Romans (66‒70 CE). Between 66-70 CE different Jewish factions revolted against the Roman overlords. Ideological motives were a crucial factor in the origins, development and outcome of this revolt. The Dead Sea Scrolls enable the possibility to examine the views of these Jewish groups. The influential volume The Jewish revolt against Rome: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (Leiden: Brill, 2011) and the exhibiton on the Dead Sea Scrolls were part of this project.

The second project is a direct result of Popović’ ERC grant, and relates to the development and application of digital research methods a palaeographical analysis of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Using new techniques such as artificial intelligence and carbon dating in combination with palaeography (the study of ancient and historical handwriting), Popović will spend the next five years working in Groningen with Lambert Schomaker from the Department of Artificial Intelligence and Hans van der Plicht from the Centre for Isotope Research to develop a new method for studying the Dead Sea Scrolls, known as ‘Digital palaeography’. The aim of this project is to uncover the identity of the individual authors behind the texts of the Dead Sea Scrolls, thereby creating a new field of research.

Congresses

Furthermore, the staff engages in the organization of and participation in international congresses (e.g. Dead Sea Scrolls Meeting Groningen-Leuven-Helsinki-Göttingen; Jewish Cultural Encounters in the Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern World; Sharing and Hiding Religious Knowledge). Also, the website for the International Organization for Qumran Studies (IOQS) is hosted by the Institute.

Last modified:12 June 2015 3.31 p.m.
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