04
Nov
07

Blogger of the Month: Robert Cargill

Cargill is a doctoral candidate at UCLA specializing in the archaeology of Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls, and he has some insightful comments on these (and other) subjects. Check out his interview with Jim West here.

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2 Responses to “Blogger of the Month: Robert Cargill”


  1. 1 Concerned
    November 21, 2007 at 12:24 am

    It should be pointed out that the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute website is carrying an article by historian Norman Golb, in which he argues that the argument made in the “Virtual Qumran” film produced by Robert is based on false assertions–not merely statements of opinion that Golb disagrees with, but one demonstrable piece of misinformation after another. For example, the film asserts that the four inkwells found in a room at Qumran are greater in number than those found in any other place in Israel, without mentioning the five inkwells found together in a room at Shu’afat. Yet no one has argued that there was a “scriptorium” at Shu’afat. (See Golb’s article for further examples).

    http://oi.uchicago.edu/pdf/san_diego_virtual_reality_2007.pdf

    Of particular concern is a passage towards the end (pp. 6-7), where Golb discusses a marginal comment in the film script that apparently was not intended for publication, and in which Robert refers to a secret “reason” that he “never writes down.” If demonstrably false claims are indeed made throughout the film, the attitude of secrecy and concealment signaled in such a statement would clearly raise some important concerns regarding the intersection between religion, academics and science museum exhibits.

    I am assuming there is some kind of simple explanation of all of this, which Cargill can provide in an answer to Golb’s review. Let’s hope he does this quickly, so the record can be set straight.

  2. 2 Concerned
    November 20, 2007 at 8:24 pm

    It should be pointed out that the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute website is carrying an article by historian Norman Golb, in which he argues that the argument made in the “Virtual Qumran” film produced by Robert is based on false assertions–not merely statements of opinion that Golb disagrees with, but one demonstrable piece of misinformation after another. For example, the film asserts that the four inkwells found in a room at Qumran are greater in number than those found in any other place in Israel, without mentioning the five inkwells found together in a room at Shu’afat. Yet no one has argued that there was a “scriptorium” at Shu’afat. (See Golb’s article for further examples).

    http://oi.uchicago.edu/pdf/san_diego_virtual_reality_2007.pdf

    Of particular concern is a passage towards the end (pp. 6-7), where Golb discusses a marginal comment in the film script that apparently was not intended for publication, and in which Robert refers to a secret “reason” that he “never writes down.” If demonstrably false claims are indeed made throughout the film, the attitude of secrecy and concealment signaled in such a statement would clearly raise some important concerns regarding the intersection between religion, academics and science museum exhibits.

    I am assuming there is some kind of simple explanation of all of this, which Cargill can provide in an answer to Golb’s review. Let’s hope he does this quickly, so the record can be set straight.


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