In December it will be seven years since I discovered how to understand the Copper Scroll. Since then it has been a roller coaster ride of progress and delays. From what I understand of archaeology in Israel, this is typical. What is not typical is my approach to recovering the Tabernacle and Temple items listed on the CS. Since my background is not in archaeology and/or any of the related fields, they sent me to the servant’s entrance to make access to the highly competitive academic world surrounding the Dead Sea Scrolls. Which, most of you know is what the CS is and found very near Qumran.
Digging at Qumran or Scanning Qumran which will it be? First of all we must keep in mind, the IAA and the department we must deal with for any activity above tourism at Qumran is associated with but not really controlled by the IAA.
January of 2013 was a very good month for progress on The Copper Scroll Project yet the progress hit a wall shortly thereafter in July. Let me explain what I believe is going on.
On The Copper Scroll Project’s behalf, several people have been contacting the head of the Archaeological Department of the Civil Administration and others in authority in Israel (some authorized by me, some “not”). That department controls all archaeological activity in the so call West Bank and Gaza. One of those people contacted the ADCA, in particular, Hananyah Hizmi’s office, saying the same thing that everyone says to him, “Why can’t we?” Why can’t we get a permit, why can’t we scan, why can’t we excavate? No matter the request for things related to archaeology, Mr. Hizmi has the final say. What he told them was “no.” And again, all I am asking is, “Let me do a deep penetrating electronic metal scan of Qumran and give you (Israel) a report containing the results. It will be up to the Israeli’s what they do with it, “if” there appears to be a positive anomaly on the computer image.
Up to the date we hit the wall, we had a great fellow by the name of Dr. Oren Gutfeld acting on our behalf to prepare the paperwork and requirements for the scan. When we last spoke…the good doctor told me that he had never had such a problem getting permission to do a simple scan. If you read the CSP homepage you know what he said the reason was.
Let me take a rabbit trail and give you my best guess as to what is really happening behind the scenes. Mr. Hizmi may tell those questioning him about allowing me to scan that the reason is, I am not professional. Which is true, I am not a professional in the fields of study normal to this type of operation. Yet, think of all the major world changing discoveries that were made by average people such as myself. As long as I am guessing let me continue…
Mr. Hizmi’s position and the ADCA was developed to protect the valuables and artifacts in the West Bank and Gaza, that is why the top person of that department has seemingly unlimited power “for life.” The buck stops with Hizmi. There have been instances when even the Prime Minister would not get involved because any items related to the Temple Mount is like a nuclear bomb and the Ark is the button to activate or defuse the threat. What The Copper Scroll Project is dealing with may be the button itself.
That department’s power and control will not end until Israel has complete authority of all of the territories and the country can bring out historic items without fear of destruction or loss to a foreign entity. As some of you well know, we are not the only ones experiencing the problem of stonewalling even “outside” the ADCA’s jurisdiction. As strange as it may seem, I understand, support and respect what the ADCA is doing to protect Israel’s artifacts. If I were the Israeli’s I would do the same thing, but the requesting agency or individual should, at least receive, “some normal respect and an official notification of their projects status.”
Next, Hizmi has to have something to tell the public when he is questioned about the denial of any request. Just like previous ADCA head Yitzak Magen, what ever he says is taken as gospel by the media because he is “the expert.” I, however, will continue to respectfully press the issue and let God handle details and the timing. There are those in political positions that are willing to listen to us (God protect them). They are our best hope for seeing this through. The ADCA head will take his “Mr. Barfield is not a professional,” stand if anyone reaches him to make an inquiry. It is up to me to brief and inform potential supporters before Mr. Hizmi derails our chances. Please understand, I have nothing at all against the gentleman. In fact, he was quite nice when I briefed him on the Copper Scroll Project.
I said all that to say, I think Dr. Gutfeld knows the reason behind the blockage and reluctantly supports it and has no choice but go along with the situation. He wants to be part of this project and the potential major discovery, of course, but he is smart enough and cares enough about his career and Israel to know he needs to keep quiet and low for now. Again, I am guessing.
The time will come when we will know why the ADCA really stopped us again. I do respect the difficult job they have and completely support their mission to protect the treasures of Israel.