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10057Re: daming [formerly ink from a Dead Sea Scroll ...]

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  • dastacey62
    Mar 4, 2009
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      In June 2007 I visited the site of the dam a couple of weeks after a particularly ferocious flood had cleaned out the whole basin down to bedrock (and killed two abseilers lower down the wadi). The entrance to the aqueduct some 4 or 5 metres higher was completely inaccessible, not only to an old fart like myself, but also to a young and agile PhD student I was showing around. How exactly the dam was built is hard to reconstruct. Presumably the stones were quarried in the basin itself but there was little room for a ramp to get them to the upper courses of the dam - I know I wouldn't have liked to have been one of the labourers involved - perhaps as it's apparently so insignificant a construction project you have ideas as to how it was built?

      You accept that Caesarea was state supported. Owen Chesnut has mentioned barrages around Hyrcania and Masada, both building projects of Herod, who, incidentally, liked Jericho so much that he built himself three different palaces there, increasing the availablilty of water to them by extending the Hasmonean Na'aran aqueduct to take in the waters of Ein el-Auja some 14 kms to the north which is the same distance as Qumran is to the south. It would seem that Qumran was just a part of his Jericho estate and inter-connected with his other building projects. And archaeologically the date of the dam, which most logically was built together with the so-called- 'main' aqueduct system, can be no earlier than 31 BCE (see my article in DSD 14:2 (2007) - that's 'Dead Sea Discoveries' for those who find these acronyms obscure). This dating will probably be confirmed when the results of Magen and Peleg's excavations (even the preliminary publication was not available to me at the time I was writing the DSD article)are finally published (see Magen and Peleg 2007 p.8 amd fig 11).

      Which takes us back all the way to the start of this correspondence when I asked how a scroll dated by some as early as the second century BCE could have been written in Qumran at a time when there was no possibility of year round occupation?

      David Stacey

      --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups.com, JEFFREY A BLAKELY <jblakely@...> wrote:
      > Well, I guess the point I wish to make is that a truly major water project, such as the aqueduct system at Caesarea or the Marib dam, certainly would be state supported. One the other hand a small barrage dam and channel on a small wadi like at Qumran hardly rises to that level no matter how much force may be coming down the channel on occasion. The technology had been around for a long time.
      > Jeff Blakely
      > Madison, Wisconsin
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: dastacey62 <DAVID.STACEY63@...>
      > Date: Tuesday, March 3, 2009 9:52 am
      > Subject: [ANE-2] Re: daming [formerly ink from a Dead Sea Scroll ...]
      > To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
      > > Of course barrage dams existed in Judea. The point that I'm making,
      > > if it needs spelling out, is that all of the major dams requiring
      > > considerable know-how and huge resources were instigated by the state
      > >
      > > or the temple. The construction of the dam at Qumran and of the rock-
      > > cut channel required the sort of labour and financial resources,
      > > technical expertise and determination demonstrated by Herod in other
      > >
      > > of his building projects and should be associated with his expansion
      > >
      > > of the settlement in 31 BCE. The recent excavations of Magen and
      > > Peleg would appear to confirm this date.
      > >
      > > David Stacey
      > > UK
      > >
      > > --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups.com, JEFFREY A BLAKELY <jblakely@> wrote:
      > > >
      > > > Good Morning
      > > >
      > > > Barrage dams feeding sluices and watering fields were a bit of
      > > a "doodle" by even 1200 BC in Yemen. If you look around Saba and
      > > Qataban evidence for them is all over the place in remnants and in
      > > agricultural fields built up by the silt in the runoff produced
      > > during floods. If you want a good example see the Marib Dam, a truly
      > >
      > > massive dam capable of taking on an incredible deluge and a dam that
      > >
      > > was in use for over a millennium. It is hard to believe that the
      > > knowledge did not reach the other end of the trade route.
      > > >
      > > > Jeffrey A. Blakely
      > > > Madison, WI
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