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Re: Qumran inkwells and other facts

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  • silverman_mark
    Ah ha, thank you for the lucid and enlightening response!--so Qumran will remain the chief laura for those wise and intrepid desert dwellers.... Marl Silverman
    Message 1 of 10 , Jan 1, 2008
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      Ah ha, thank you for the lucid and enlightening response!--so Qumran
      will remain the chief laura for those wise and intrepid desert
      dwellers....

      Marl Silverman



      --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups.com, goranson@... wrote:
      >
      > It is not true (based on available reports) that more inkwells were
      found at
      > Shuafat than Qumran. I am a slow typist. Need I retype information
      > every time a
      > false claim is made? This list does have an archives with details and
      > bibliography on inkwells among other things. And the Shuafat, mold-made
      > inkwells may be Roman rather than Jewish (at least, Yael Olnick has
      suggested
      > or raised the question of this distinction of types), and they are
      reportedly
      > post second temple period. If we say for conversation sake, that
      Qumran is one
      > of the two most inkwell-rich sites in a wide area and a long time,
      these are
      > still scribal tools. There is no reason to expect writing on skin,
      exposed to
      > elements, fire, and water to survive; such writing surfaces survived
      in caves,
      > some enterable only through the Khirbeh. There was writing in Qumran on
      > pottery
      > and stone (published in Humbert and Gunneweg). Qumran is still where
      Pliny's
      > second temple period source (and probably Dio [see Dead Sea Discoveries
      > forthcoming] and Solinus) said Essenes lived. Many of the scrolls
      (S, MMT,
      > pesharim etc.) are Essene. Some wish not to accept such facts. And
      there is
      > more information available to historians on Essenes of Qumran and
      elsewhere.
      >
      > Stephen Goranson
      > http://www.duke.edu/~goranson
      > "Jannaeus, His Brother Absalom, and Judah the Essene"
      > Lincoln: "we cannot escape history"
      >
    • B.E.Colless
      Let me put it this way. One blinkered scholar finds evidence of pottery-manufacture, another senses perfume-making, another detects farming, another notices
      Message 2 of 10 , Jan 2, 2008
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        Let me put it this way. One blinkered scholar finds evidence of
        pottery-manufacture, another senses perfume-making, another detects farming,
        another notices military activity [remember the war scroll?] on the Qumran
        site, and each thinks they have discovered the full truth about the place.

        Have you heard the one about the blind sages who examined the various parts
        of an elephant (tail, trunk, ear, leg. etc) and each thought he had
        comprehended the essence of the animal?

        Kia ora! (Maaori for "Get a life")

        Brian Colless
        Massey University, New Zealand

        http://cryptcracker.blogspot.com
        http://collesseum.googlepages.com

        > From: goranson@...
        > Reply-To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
        > Date: Tue, 1 Jan 2008 10:22:32 -0500
        > To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: [ANE-2] Qumran inkwells and other facts
        >
        > It is not true (based on available reports) that more inkwells were found at
        > Shuafat than Qumran. I am a slow typist. Need I retype information
        > every time a
        > false claim is made? This list does have an archives with details and
        > bibliography on inkwells among other things. And the Shuafat, mold-made
        > inkwells may be Roman rather than Jewish (at least, Yael Olnick has suggested
        > or raised the question of this distinction of types), and they are reportedly
        > post second temple period. If we say for conversation sake, that Qumran is one
        > of the two most inkwell-rich sites in a wide area and a long time, these are
        > still scribal tools. There is no reason to expect writing on skin, exposed to
        > elements, fire, and water to survive; such writing surfaces survived in caves,
        > some enterable only through the Khirbeh. There was writing in Qumran on
        > pottery
        > and stone (published in Humbert and Gunneweg). Qumran is still where Pliny's
        > second temple period source (and probably Dio [see Dead Sea Discoveries
        > forthcoming] and Solinus) said Essenes lived. Many of the scrolls (S, MMT,
        > pesharim etc.) are Essene. Some wish not to accept such facts. And there is
        > more information available to historians on Essenes of Qumran and elsewhere.
        >
        > Stephen Goranson
        > http://www.duke.edu/~goranson
        > "Jannaeus, His Brother Absalom, and Judah the Essene"
        > Lincoln: "we cannot escape history"
        >
        >
      • dastacey62
        ... suggested ... reportedly ... Like Eliot I doubt if it is possible to differentiate between a Roman and a Jewish - or even a Romano-Jewish inkwell.
        Message 3 of 10 , Jan 2, 2008
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          --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups.com, goranson@... wrote:
          >
          > And the Shuafat, mold-made
          > inkwells may be Roman rather than Jewish (at least, Yael Olnick has
          suggested
          > or raised the question of this distinction of types), and they are
          reportedly
          > post second temple period.

          Like Eliot I doubt if it is possible to differentiate between
          a 'Roman' and a 'Jewish' - or even a 'Romano-Jewish' inkwell. Several
          pools were excavated at Shuafat which would seem to be mikvaot so
          there was at least a Jewish presence at the site. It is true that the
          main period of occupation was between the two Revolts so the Shuafat
          inkwells may be slightly later than those from Qumran. However, at
          least one of the Qumran inkwells is most likely from a Period III
          context (and none are 'early') and there is no reason to believe that
          Qumran did not have some occupancy, posssibly seasonal, between the
          Revolts.

          One question:- If no inkwells are found at a site is that proof that
          its occupants could not write?

          David Stacey
          UK
        • goranson@duke.edu
          One possible reason for difference between Qumran and Masada, in regard to whether animal skin scrolls would survive, is that Qumran got flooded more than
          Message 4 of 10 , Jan 2, 2008
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            One possible reason for difference between Qumran and Masada, in regard
            to whether animal skin scrolls would survive, is that Qumran got flooded
            more than Masada, because Qumran's location and sometimes-broken water system
            brought more water to it, which would rot scrolls, moreso than Masada, which
            was not flooded from land above it and whose water system was below it. Also,
            Masada had casemate walls; Qumran not, among additional differences.
            Again, there was writing on clay and stone found in Kh. Qumran, which is
            published in Humbert and Gunneweg, Khirbet Qumran...II: etudes... 2003. I wish
            those posting on this subject would read that before more declarations. And why
            cite declarations on Dead Sea Scrolls from some (e.g. Hirschfeld) who were not
            Dead Sea Scroll scholars?

            Those interested in the tentative suggestion of Yael Olnick {also in English as
            Olenick) can read her Early Roman-Period Pottery Inkwells from Eretz-Yisrael,"
            Israel--People and Land I (1983-1984) 55-66 Hebrew; 10-11, English, on inkwell
            types. We await full Shufat publication.

            For a review of Edna Ullmann-Margalit's book Out of the Cave, see amazon.com:
            http://tinyurl.com/2z3fwn

            In many posts no one responded to the evidence in the recently-posted review of
            N. Golb, Who Wrote the Scrolls that tells against his proposal. Plus, if these
            were Jerusalem libraries, why are there no indications of ownership for
            retrieval?

            Interestingly, Ulrich makes another three-cave scribal connection in:
            Ulrich, Eugene. "Identification of a Scribe Active at Qumran:
            1QPsb-4QIsac-11QM." In ??????: ?????? ??????? ????
            ????? ?-?. ?????? ?????? ????? [Meghillot: Studies in
            the Dead Sea Scrolls V-VI. A Festschrift for Devorah Dimant], ed. Moshe
            Bar-Asher and Emanuel Tov, *201-*210. Jerusalem: Bialik Institute and Haifa
            University Press, 2007.

            Would you risk life to take a writing exercise (as found in Cave 4) from
            Jerusalem, during seige by the Roman army, to a cave many miles away?

            One who is disinterested in evidence of six or so inkwells raises the question
            (beyond new-found interest in Shuafat): what evidence would interest? And why,
            from some posters, the differing levels of demands for evidence: quite
            demanding for Essenes not to be pushed into limbo, and yet so very lacking in
            stringency--even ignoring counter-evidence (e.g., from Josephus and from the
            non-cross-section of available books at Qumran--for the Jerusalem-library
            one-time deposit ignoring connections to the site and to multiply-attested
            Essene history?

            Stephen Goranson
            http://www.duke.edu/~goranson
            ("Out damned spot," I think, is from Macbeth not Hamlet.)
          • dastacey62
            A few responses:- 1. There is no conclusive evidence that the aqueduct system at Qumran was ever broken and the site flooded . 2. For an extensive puddle
            Message 5 of 10 , Jan 2, 2008
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              A few responses:-
              1. There is no conclusive evidence that the aqueduct system at
              Qumran was ever 'broken' and the site 'flooded'.
              2. For an extensive 'puddle' at Masada see two-page spread in
              Yadin's 'Masada' pp 32-33
              3. Ostraca (writing on clay) were found on Masada.
              4. If finding inkwells at a site is proof that it was a scribal
              school would the total absence of inkwells at a site be proof that
              its occupants could not write?
              5. I am a dirt archaeologist, not a scroll scholar nor a Classicist,
              but as far as I understand it no classical author links 'Essenes'
              directly with the site of Qumran. Are not Essenes, rather, associated
              with the general area northwest of the Dead Sea? In more recent times
              this area was associated with the Ta'amireh Bedouin tribe, who would
              claim territorial right to graze their flocks there. Philo associated
              Essenes with, inter alia, shepherding. Perhaps shepherds who happened
              to be Essenes grazed their flocks in the general area?
              David Stacey
              UK


              --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups.com, goranson@... wrote:
              >
              > One possible reason for difference between Qumran and Masada, in
              regard
              > to whether animal skin scrolls would survive, is that Qumran got
              flooded
              > more than Masada, because Qumran's location and sometimes-broken
              water system
              > brought more water to it, which would rot scrolls, moreso than
              Masada, which
              > was not flooded from land above it and whose water system was below
              it. Also,
              > Masada had casemate walls; Qumran not, among additional differences.
              > Again, there was writing on clay and stone found in Kh. Qumran,
              which is
              > published in Humbert and Gunneweg, Khirbet Qumran...II: etudes...
              2003. I wish
              > those posting on this subject would read that before more
              declarations. And why
              > cite declarations on Dead Sea Scrolls from some (e.g. Hirschfeld)
              who were not
              > Dead Sea Scroll scholars?
              >
              > Those interested in the tentative suggestion of Yael Olnick {also
              in English as
              > Olenick) can read her Early Roman-Period Pottery Inkwells from
              Eretz-Yisrael,"
              > Israel--People and Land I (1983-1984) 55-66 Hebrew; 10-11, English,
              on inkwell
              > types. We await full Shufat publication.
              >
              > For a review of Edna Ullmann-Margalit's book Out of the Cave, see
              amazon.com:
              > http://tinyurl.com/2z3fwn
              >
              > In many posts no one responded to the evidence in the recently-
              posted review of
              > N. Golb, Who Wrote the Scrolls that tells against his proposal.
              Plus, if these
              > were Jerusalem libraries, why are there no indications of ownership
              for
              > retrieval?
              >
              > Interestingly, Ulrich makes another three-cave scribal connection
              in:
              > Ulrich, Eugene. "Identification of a Scribe Active at Qumran:
              > 1QPsb-4QIsac-11QM." In ??????: ?????? ??????? ????
              > ????? ?-?. ?????? ?????? ????? [Meghillot: Studies in
              > the Dead Sea Scrolls V-VI. A Festschrift for Devorah Dimant], ed.
              Moshe
              > Bar-Asher and Emanuel Tov, *201-*210. Jerusalem: Bialik Institute
              and Haifa
              > University Press, 2007.
              >
              > Would you risk life to take a writing exercise (as found in Cave 4)
              from
              > Jerusalem, during seige by the Roman army, to a cave many miles
              away?
              >
              > One who is disinterested in evidence of six or so inkwells raises
              the question
              > (beyond new-found interest in Shuafat): what evidence would
              interest? And why,
              > from some posters, the differing levels of demands for evidence:
              quite
              > demanding for Essenes not to be pushed into limbo, and yet so very
              lacking in
              > stringency--even ignoring counter-evidence (e.g., from Josephus and
              from the
              > non-cross-section of available books at Qumran--for the Jerusalem-
              library
              > one-time deposit ignoring connections to the site and to multiply-
              attested
              > Essene history?
              >
              > Stephen Goranson
              > http://www.duke.edu/~goranson
              > ("Out damned spot," I think, is from Macbeth not Hamlet.)
              >
            • kessler_paul
              I m a bit surprised that in your list of blinkered scholars you didn t include one who thinks Essenes lived in Qumran, another who thinks Sadducees lived
              Message 6 of 10 , Jan 2, 2008
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                I'm a bit surprised that in your list of "blinkered scholars" you
                didn't include one who thinks Essenes lived in Qumran, another who
                thinks Sadducees lived there, another who thinks Essenes lived not
                in, but around the site; one who thinks sectarians wrote some of the
                scrolls there, another who thinks they wrote most of the scrolls
                there, and another who thinks they wrote all of the scrolls there;
                one who thinks the site was inhabited by celibate Essenes as per
                Pliny, another who thinks the Essenes who lived there married despite
                Pliny; one who thinks the word "Damascus" in one of the scrolls
                refers to Qumran, another who disagrees with that; one who thinks the
                Essenes took over a military fortress and another who thinks Qumran
                could never have been a military fortress because, according to her
                but not others, "poor" dishes were found there.

                Paul Kessler (New York, NY)


                --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups.com, "B.E.Colless" <briancolless@...> wrote:
                >
                >
                > Let me put it this way. One blinkered scholar finds evidence of
                > pottery-manufacture, another senses perfume-making, another detects
                farming,
                > another notices military activity [remember the war scroll?] on the
                Qumran
                > site, and each thinks they have discovered the full truth about the
                place.
                >
                > Have you heard the one about the blind sages who examined the
                various parts
                > of an elephant (tail, trunk, ear, leg. etc) and each thought he had
                > comprehended the essence of the animal?
                >
                > Kia ora! (Maaori for "Get a life")
                >
                > Brian Colless
                > Massey University, New Zealand
                >
                > http://cryptcracker.blogspot.com
                > http://collesseum.googlepages.com
                >
                > > From: goranson@...
                > > Reply-To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
                > > Date: Tue, 1 Jan 2008 10:22:32 -0500
                > > To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
                > > Subject: [ANE-2] Qumran inkwells and other facts
                > >
                > > It is not true (based on available reports) that more inkwells
                were found at
                > > Shuafat than Qumran. I am a slow typist. Need I retype information
                > > every time a
                > > false claim is made? This list does have an archives with details
                and
                > > bibliography on inkwells among other things. And the Shuafat,
                mold-made
                > > inkwells may be Roman rather than Jewish (at least, Yael Olnick
                has suggested
                > > or raised the question of this distinction of types), and they
                are reportedly
                > > post second temple period. If we say for conversation sake, that
                Qumran is one
                > > of the two most inkwell-rich sites in a wide area and a long
                time, these are
                > > still scribal tools. There is no reason to expect writing on
                skin, exposed to
                > > elements, fire, and water to survive; such writing surfaces
                survived in caves,
                > > some enterable only through the Khirbeh. There was writing in
                Qumran on
                > > pottery
                > > and stone (published in Humbert and Gunneweg). Qumran is still
                where Pliny's
                > > second temple period source (and probably Dio [see Dead Sea
                Discoveries
                > > forthcoming] and Solinus) said Essenes lived. Many of the scrolls
                (S, MMT,
                > > pesharim etc.) are Essene. Some wish not to accept such facts.
                And there is
                > > more information available to historians on Essenes of Qumran and
                elsewhere.
                > >
                > > Stephen Goranson
                > > http://www.duke.edu/~goranson
                > > "Jannaeus, His Brother Absalom, and Judah the Essene"
                > > Lincoln: "we cannot escape history"
                > >
                > >
                >
              • kessler_paul
                On northwest of the Dead Sea : Pliny says merely that they are a throng of refugees living among the palm trees near the Dead Sea, and that that below
                Message 7 of 10 , Jan 2, 2008
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                  On "northwest of the Dead Sea": Pliny says merely that they are
                  a "throng of refugees" living among the palm trees near the Dead Sea,
                  and that that "below them" (infra hos) lies En Gedi, "now, like
                  Jerusalem, an ash-heap." This certainly does not seem to correspond
                  to a military fortress/commercial-industrial site, and many places
                  closer to En Gedi come to mind (including the the site in the hills
                  above En Gedi excavated by Hirschfeld).

                  Paul Kessler (NY)

                  --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups.com, "dastacey62" <DAVID.STACEY63@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > A few responses:-
                  > 1. There is no conclusive evidence that the aqueduct system at
                  > Qumran was ever 'broken' and the site 'flooded'.
                  > 2. For an extensive 'puddle' at Masada see two-page spread in
                  > Yadin's 'Masada' pp 32-33
                  > 3. Ostraca (writing on clay) were found on Masada.
                  > 4. If finding inkwells at a site is proof that it was a scribal
                  > school would the total absence of inkwells at a site be proof that
                  > its occupants could not write?
                  > 5. I am a dirt archaeologist, not a scroll scholar nor a
                  Classicist,
                  > but as far as I understand it no classical author links 'Essenes'
                  > directly with the site of Qumran. Are not Essenes, rather,
                  associated
                  > with the general area northwest of the Dead Sea? In more recent
                  times
                  > this area was associated with the Ta'amireh Bedouin tribe, who
                  would
                  > claim territorial right to graze their flocks there. Philo
                  associated
                  > Essenes with, inter alia, shepherding. Perhaps shepherds who
                  happened
                  > to be Essenes grazed their flocks in the general area?
                  > David Stacey
                  > UK
                  >
                  >
                  > --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups.com, goranson@ wrote:
                  > >
                  > > One possible reason for difference between Qumran and Masada, in
                  > regard
                  > > to whether animal skin scrolls would survive, is that Qumran got
                  > flooded
                  > > more than Masada, because Qumran's location and sometimes-broken
                  > water system
                  > > brought more water to it, which would rot scrolls, moreso than
                  > Masada, which
                  > > was not flooded from land above it and whose water system was
                  below
                  > it. Also,
                  > > Masada had casemate walls; Qumran not, among additional
                  differences.
                  > > Again, there was writing on clay and stone found in Kh. Qumran,
                  > which is
                  > > published in Humbert and Gunneweg, Khirbet Qumran...II: etudes...
                  > 2003. I wish
                  > > those posting on this subject would read that before more
                  > declarations. And why
                  > > cite declarations on Dead Sea Scrolls from some (e.g. Hirschfeld)
                  > who were not
                  > > Dead Sea Scroll scholars?
                  > >
                  > > Those interested in the tentative suggestion of Yael Olnick {also
                  > in English as
                  > > Olenick) can read her Early Roman-Period Pottery Inkwells from
                  > Eretz-Yisrael,"
                  > > Israel--People and Land I (1983-1984) 55-66 Hebrew; 10-11,
                  English,
                  > on inkwell
                  > > types. We await full Shufat publication.
                  > >
                  > > For a review of Edna Ullmann-Margalit's book Out of the Cave, see
                  > amazon.com:
                  > > http://tinyurl.com/2z3fwn
                  > >
                  > > In many posts no one responded to the evidence in the recently-
                  > posted review of
                  > > N. Golb, Who Wrote the Scrolls that tells against his proposal.
                  > Plus, if these
                  > > were Jerusalem libraries, why are there no indications of
                  ownership
                  > for
                  > > retrieval?
                  > >
                  > > Interestingly, Ulrich makes another three-cave scribal connection
                  > in:
                  > > Ulrich, Eugene. "Identification of a Scribe Active at Qumran:
                  > > 1QPsb-4QIsac-11QM." In ??????: ?????? ??????? ????
                  > > ????? ?-?. ?????? ?????? ????? [Meghillot: Studies in
                  > > the Dead Sea Scrolls V-VI. A Festschrift for Devorah Dimant], ed.
                  > Moshe
                  > > Bar-Asher and Emanuel Tov, *201-*210. Jerusalem: Bialik Institute
                  > and Haifa
                  > > University Press, 2007.
                  > >
                  > > Would you risk life to take a writing exercise (as found in Cave
                  4)
                  > from
                  > > Jerusalem, during seige by the Roman army, to a cave many miles
                  > away?
                  > >
                  > > One who is disinterested in evidence of six or so inkwells raises
                  > the question
                  > > (beyond new-found interest in Shuafat): what evidence would
                  > interest? And why,
                  > > from some posters, the differing levels of demands for evidence:
                  > quite
                  > > demanding for Essenes not to be pushed into limbo, and yet so
                  very
                  > lacking in
                  > > stringency--even ignoring counter-evidence (e.g., from Josephus
                  and
                  > from the
                  > > non-cross-section of available books at Qumran--for the Jerusalem-
                  > library
                  > > one-time deposit ignoring connections to the site and to multiply-
                  > attested
                  > > Essene history?
                  > >
                  > > Stephen Goranson
                  > > http://www.duke.edu/~goranson
                  > > ("Out damned spot," I think, is from Macbeth not Hamlet.)
                  > >
                  >
                • kessler_paul
                  I for one didn t bother responding to the evidence in your review of Golb because it just seems like a rehash of claims and invective, and certainly not
                  Message 8 of 10 , Jan 2, 2008
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                    I for one didn't bother responding to the "evidence" in your review
                    of Golb because it just seems like a rehash of claims and invective,
                    and certainly not "evidence." Your method is to set up a straw horse
                    and beat on it, ignoring evidence that does (as recognized in the
                    Church History review of Golb which you ignore) favor the Jerusalem
                    theory, and presupposing the truth of the Qumran-Essene theory
                    despite advances in research to the contrary. The consequences of
                    this kind of discourse can be seen on the Amazon.com site itself,
                    where someone did respond to your review. See
                    http://tinyurl.com/2n89a9

                    Paul Kessler (NY)


                    --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups.com, goranson@... wrote:
                    >
                    > One possible reason for difference between Qumran and Masada, in
                    regard
                    > to whether animal skin scrolls would survive, is that Qumran got
                    flooded
                    > more than Masada, because Qumran's location and sometimes-broken
                    water system
                    > brought more water to it, which would rot scrolls, moreso than
                    Masada, which
                    > was not flooded from land above it and whose water system was below
                    it. Also,
                    > Masada had casemate walls; Qumran not, among additional differences.
                    > Again, there was writing on clay and stone found in Kh. Qumran,
                    which is
                    > published in Humbert and Gunneweg, Khirbet Qumran...II: etudes...
                    2003. I wish
                    > those posting on this subject would read that before more
                    declarations. And why
                    > cite declarations on Dead Sea Scrolls from some (e.g. Hirschfeld)
                    who were not
                    > Dead Sea Scroll scholars?
                    >
                    > Those interested in the tentative suggestion of Yael Olnick {also
                    in English as
                    > Olenick) can read her Early Roman-Period Pottery Inkwells from
                    Eretz-Yisrael,"
                    > Israel--People and Land I (1983-1984) 55-66 Hebrew; 10-11, English,
                    on inkwell
                    > types. We await full Shufat publication.
                    >
                    > For a review of Edna Ullmann-Margalit's book Out of the Cave, see
                    amazon.com:
                    > http://tinyurl.com/2z3fwn
                    >
                    > In many posts no one responded to the evidence in the recently-
                    posted review of
                    > N. Golb, Who Wrote the Scrolls that tells against his proposal.
                    Plus, if these
                    > were Jerusalem libraries, why are there no indications of ownership
                    for
                    > retrieval?
                    >
                    > Interestingly, Ulrich makes another three-cave scribal connection
                    in:
                    > Ulrich, Eugene. "Identification of a Scribe Active at Qumran:
                    > 1QPsb-4QIsac-11QM." In ??????: ?????? ??????? ????
                    > ????? ?-?. ?????? ?????? ????? [Meghillot: Studies in
                    > the Dead Sea Scrolls V-VI. A Festschrift for Devorah Dimant], ed.
                    Moshe
                    > Bar-Asher and Emanuel Tov, *201-*210. Jerusalem: Bialik Institute
                    and Haifa
                    > University Press, 2007.
                    >
                    > Would you risk life to take a writing exercise (as found in Cave 4)
                    from
                    > Jerusalem, during seige by the Roman army, to a cave many miles
                    away?
                    >
                    > One who is disinterested in evidence of six or so inkwells raises
                    the question
                    > (beyond new-found interest in Shuafat): what evidence would
                    interest? And why,
                    > from some posters, the differing levels of demands for evidence:
                    quite
                    > demanding for Essenes not to be pushed into limbo, and yet so very
                    lacking in
                    > stringency--even ignoring counter-evidence (e.g., from Josephus and
                    from the
                    > non-cross-section of available books at Qumran--for the Jerusalem-
                    library
                    > one-time deposit ignoring connections to the site and to multiply-
                    attested
                    > Essene history?
                    >
                    > Stephen Goranson
                    > http://www.duke.edu/~goranson
                    > ("Out damned spot," I think, is from Macbeth not Hamlet.)
                    >
                  • dastacey62
                    As far as I understand it, the Essenes were ordinary guys who espoused a particular philosophy of Judaism. They lived in small towns and villages throughout
                    Message 9 of 10 , Jan 3, 2008
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                      As far as I understand it, the Essenes were ordinary guys who
                      espoused
                      a particular philosophy of Judaism. They lived in small towns and
                      villages throughout Judea, were employed as agriculturalists, rural
                      craftsmen, shepherds, bee-keepers etc and had an interest in the
                      healing power of herbs.
                      When, starting in the Hasmonean period, there was a rapid expansion
                      in
                      the growing of very high value balsam (and perhaps not quite so high
                      value dates) in Jericho and Ein Gedi, there would have been a
                      pressing
                      need for labourers from outside, many of whom , initially at least,
                      would have camped among the date palms. Some of those who were
                      prepared
                      to rough-it in return for certain work were as likely to have been
                      Essenes, whose skills as agriculturalists and rural craftsmen would
                      have been welcome, as anybody else.
                      Seasonal work in Qumran , associated with the products of
                      shepherding
                      and local agriculture, may have been right up the Essenes street -
                      they
                      had the skills, and may have appreciated 'living apart' for a period
                      (in the autumns of my mis-spent youth I often gathered with gypsy
                      travellers and other 'outcasts' to help harvest the hops and apples
                      of
                      Kent. We had a symbiotic relationship with the farmers who needed us,
                      our eccentricites were tolerated, we could, if we worked hard, earn
                      good money, which, in my case, helped subsidise my poorly paid life
                      in
                      archaeology).

                      Hirschfeld's 'site up in the hills' was probably only occupied
                      seasonally when the crops growing in nearby, relatively remote,
                      terraced
                      fields would have been daily targeted by ibex and hyrax who could
                      easily destroy a year's work overnight. Whether these animal scarers
                      were youngsters from the village or passing Essene 'refugees' we
                      shall
                      never know. (My grandfather left school at age 10 and his first job
                      was
                      to walk the hours of daylight around corn fields with wooden clappers
                      to scare the birds. I myself once spent several exhausting weeks
                      camping in a cherry orchard trying, rather unsuccessfully, I might
                      add,
                      to discourage the birds from eating 'my' ripening cherries.)

                      David Stacey
                      UK


                      --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups.com, "kessler_paul" <kessler_paul@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > On "northwest of the Dead Sea": Pliny says merely that they are
                      > a "throng of refugees" living among the palm trees near the Dead
                      Sea,
                      > and that that "below them" (infra hos) lies En Gedi, "now, like
                      > Jerusalem, an ash-heap." This certainly does not seem to
                      correspond
                      > to a military fortress/commercial-industrial site, and many places
                      > closer to En Gedi come to mind (including the the site in the hills
                      > above En Gedi excavated by Hirschfeld).
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