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Re: [ANE-2] Re: Gmirkin

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  • RUSSELLGMIRKIN@aol.com
    David, I m glad to see your article presenting this argument is finally out. Your argument on the aqueduct sounds very intriguing. I have been postpoing
    Message 1 of 59 , Apr 22, 2008
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      David,

      I'm glad to see your article presenting this argument is finally out. Your
      argument on the aqueduct sounds very intriguing. I have been postpoing
      completion of an article on Qumran as a Sadducee fortress until I could read it.
      Unfortunately, the nearest library with DSD is half a state away, but when
      I've had a chance to obtain it we can revisit this topic.

      That said, it is important to take historical, literary and textual evidence
      (the Qumran scrolls) fully into account alongside the archaeological data.
      Most recent treatments of Qumran acknowledge an initial military phase of the
      site which would qualify it as a minor fortress. Since a strong argument
      can be made from Josephus that the fortresses were put under Sadducean command
      in 76 BCE, this practically demands a Sadducee presence at Qumran starting
      that date, which is consistent with the evidence of the scrolls.

      Also, given that evidence for Essenes west of the Dead Sea is purely
      literary and dateable only to 4 BCE in the sources, efforts to place them at Qumran
      earlier appears a doubtful enterprise. Your suggestion regarding Essene
      shepherds seems somewhat out of left field since Pliny specifically associates
      them with palm agriculture.

      Best regards,
      Russell Gmirkin





      Russell, 1. Do you have archaeological evidence for an expansion of
      Qumran in 76 BCE? I have pointed out that Hasmonean Qumran consisted
      only of a watch tower and an industrial area around the three
      cisterns, L110, 117 and 118. The expansion only occurred with the
      construction of the water channel that fed L91 and made the
      construction of the so-called 'main' building feasible. This water
      channel was, as was normal in occupied areas below the floor (not, as
      believed by de Vaux, freestanding) and must be dated by the pottery
      from L114 which can be no earlier than 31 BCE. I have published this
      in a longish article in DSD 14,2 (2007) to which you should go for
      the full details. If you disagree with this then you must point out
      another major channel running above a floor in an occupied area in
      any contemporary nearby site and/or a channel wich was free-standing
      despite the fact that its walls are clearly built as retaining walls.
      And it's no good shrugging this off, as does Magness, when she
      writes 'The walls of the main aqueduct apparently did rise above the
      floors of some of the rooms at Qumran. This seems to be true mainly
      in the northwest...in the northwest...<WBR>' (note the use of t
      and 'seem'). An implication is that the bowl from L86 is not from the
      Hasmonean period but from the time of Herod as has also been pointed
      out by Bar-Nathan (Jericho Pottery 203-204).

      Perhaps you are trying too hard to connect everything to historical
      sources.
      A factor which, as far as I know, and please correct me if I'm wrong,
      is not discussed in classical texts is the seasonal trans-humance of
      flocks from the highlands down to the Dead Sea littoral to take
      advantage of the early, though short lived, grazing. This had been
      going on since time immemorial and may even continue until today (it
      certainly still happened in the 1970s/'80s when we were excavating
      Jericho). There is no reason to suppose that the iron age cistern did
      not continue to collect water after the iron age buildings themselves
      were no longer occupied. This water would have been invaluable for
      the shepherds and their flocks who would have exploited it during the
      several centuries when the site itself was unoccupied and would not
      have stopped visiting when occupation recommenced. This was at a time
      when the agricultural potential of Jericho was being expanded hugely
      by bringing water long distances in 'expensive' aqueducts. The
      agriculture was labour intensive and would have required a great
      influx of workers who would have needed feeding and clothing.
      The winter rain water that could be gathered at Qumran was 'cheap'
      compared to Jericho but was insufficient for irrigating the rewarding
      crops of balsam or dates. However it could be exploited for producing
      less glamorous but, for the workforce, more necessary products. The
      presence of flocks in the winter could not only supply seasonal
      workers in Qumran with dairy food products but also the raw materials
      for the production of wool, leather, glue etc. by industrial
      processes which, like the production of ceramics was smelly, smokey
      or both and best carried out well away from the general population.
      (As one of the classical authors says that some Essenes were
      shepherds perhaps some of the flocks brought to the vicinity of
      Qumran were Essenes??) An article on the possible industries of
      Qumran should appear (I hope) towards the end of this year.

      David Stacey






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      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • dastacey62
      Russell, I have sent you privately copies of various articles. A mistake that has long been made is to view Q in a vacuum as tho the site played no role in the
      Message 59 of 59 , Apr 25, 2008
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        Russell, I have sent you privately copies of various articles.

        A mistake that has long been made is to view Q in a vacuum as tho the
        site played no role in the economic life of the area until the
        arrival of 'the scrolls'. It clearly did even if that role was
        marginal and seasonal ( in Britain I think of hop kilns and maltings
        whose buildings, particularly the former which all now have protected
        status, left a very visible mark on the landscape altho they were
        only operational for limited periods of the year). Whether the
        workers were Essenes or Sadducees or Hottentots was probably of less
        importance than whether they were good at their jobs. Any
        agricultural society, in which number I would include the Essenes as
        portrayed by Pliny, Josephus etc, include varied specialists. Essenes
        were not either 'shepherds' or 'palm cultivators': some were one some
        t'other, yet others processed wool, leather, rope, dyes, herbal
        medicines, kept bees, or etc etc.

        Q has always been looked at from a scroll-centric point of view
        because to us they seem to be absolutely the most colossally
        important scoop of all time - yet, in the life of Q, they were
        probably a late arrival tacked on to a pre-existing industrial site
        as a relatively unimportant afterthought.

        BTW - An expansion which could possibly be dated to around 76 BCE was
        the doubling of the industrial area with the addition of L111, L121
        etc.


        David Stacey

        --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups.com, RUSSELLGMIRKIN@... wrote:
        >
        > David,
        >
        > I'm glad to see your article presenting this argument is finally
        out. Your
        > argument on the aqueduct sounds very intriguing. I have been
        postpoing
        > completion of an article on Qumran as a Sadducee fortress until I
        could read it.
        > Unfortunately, the nearest library with DSD is half a state away,
        but when
        > I've had a chance to obtain it we can revisit this topic.
        >
        > That said, it is important to take historical, literary and
        textual evidence
        > (the Qumran scrolls) fully into account alongside the
        archaeological data.
        > Most recent treatments of Qumran acknowledge an initial military
        phase of the
        > site which would qualify it as a minor fortress. Since a strong
        argument
        > can be made from Josephus that the fortresses were put under
        Sadducean command
        > in 76 BCE, this practically demands a Sadducee presence at Qumran
        starting
        > that date, which is consistent with the evidence of the scrolls.
        >
        > Also, given that evidence for Essenes west of the Dead Sea is
        purely
        > literary and dateable only to 4 BCE in the sources, efforts to
        place them at Qumran
        > earlier appears a doubtful enterprise. Your suggestion regarding
        Essene
        > shepherds seems somewhat out of left field since Pliny
        specifically associates
        > them with palm agriculture.
        >
        > Best regards,
        > Russell Gmirkin
        >
        >
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