The Cop­per Scroll and the Search for the Tem­ple Treasure

Her­shel Shanks
  • Review
By – March 9, 2012

It can’t be easy being Her­shel Shanks. As pub­lish­er of Bib­li­cal Archae­ol­o­gy Review he has done more to pop­u­lar­ize archae­ol­o­gy than Indi­ana Jones. And, with his pen­chant for push­ing the bound­aries of that essen­tial­ly con­ser­v­a­tive sci­ence, he has brought upon him­self more ene­mies. Noth­ing angers them more than his sup­port for the pub­lish­ing of unprove­nanced (pri­vate mar­ket) antiq­ui­ties as he did a few years ago, when he backed the belief that a recent find was the ossuary of James, the broth­er of Jesus. This brought a blue rib­bon pan­el down upon his head, end­ing with the august Israel Antiq­ui­ties Author­i­ty declar­ing the inscrip­tion a fraud. 

Shanks brings the pugnac­i­ty of an edu­cat­ed ama­teur into the guard­ed gar­den of acad­eme, and for that he will nev­er be wel­come. But, that has nev­er stopped him from telling a good sto­ry, and The Cop­per Scroll is cer­tain­ly that. The only one of the Dead Sea Scrolls” writ­ten on met­al, and the only one not deal­ing with a reli­gious sub­ject, this is a tale wor­thy of fic­tion, if it wasn’t true. The con­tents of the scroll are noth­ing less than a trea­sure map, with most assum­ing it refers to the rich­es of the Sec­ond Tem­ple , secret­ed away for the mil­len­nia in order to pro­tect them from the plun­der­ing Romans of 70 C.E. Shanks details the back­ground and mys­tery sur­round­ing this arti­fact, and will prob­a­bly launch more than one excit­ed seek­er on its trail.

Jeff Bogursky reads a lot, writes a lit­tle and talks quite a bit. He is a media exec­u­tive and expert in dig­i­tal media.

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