Qumran was a walled settlement, I do not believe you can prove it was an outpost only occupied a few months a year. Stacks of kiln fired kitchenware were found there. The deep stepped pools suggest a large fresh water storage capacity. There was a room labelled, "The Scriptorium," where inkwells and a writing bench were found. The nearby Dead Sea may have been large enough to qualify as a mikveh for ritual cleansing. Ain Feshkha was about 3 kms away. Two thousand years ago this desert spring may have been more copious. Water was naturally stored in aquifers in the area. Pollen studies have shown this part of the Levant was wetter during a colder climate coinciding with the last part of the most recent Ice Age ending about 11,000 years ago and with a climate yet cooler 7,000 years ago during the Neolithic. As the climate warmed since the end of the Ice Age, this area began to receive less rain. With less rain to replenish near surface
aquifers, some springs began to diminish in flow. If in fact Ain Feshkha was stronger and fresher 2000 years ago, it is no miracle to transport water skins by donkey from Ain Feshkha spring to Qumran, or for the people dwelling there to walk two miles to the spring and fill their water skins and walk back. Josephus wrote about the Essenes living both at Qumran and Jerusalem. One may assume Josephus was correct. It would be more difficult to prove he was incorrect. The religious community in Jerusalem may have supported those at Qumran. It would have been unusual for a genizah to be located far from a synagogue. The writings were of a Jewish sect no doubt. Various sects cannot agree about proper Jewish practice today and there were debates back then, i.e. Hillel and Shamai.
David Q. Hall
Port Charlotte, FL
From: David <DAVID.STACEY63@...
Sent: Friday, August 9, 2013 6:30 AM
Subject: [ANE-2] Qumran Revisited: A Reassessment of the Archaeology of the Site and its Texts.
An archaeologist's perspective after ten years excavating in Jericho, Cypros, Masada and Herodium.
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