Find a graveyard, assume it's filled with Essenes, use that to prove the Essenes had a community, have lunch.UA confirms Dead Sea Scrolls predate Christianity"A commentary on the first two chapters of the biblical Book of Habakkuk was one of the 18 texts dated at the UA lab. 'The fact that this particular scroll (the Habakkuk commentary) dates to before the Christian era tends to eliminate the possibility that a follower of Christ could have written it,' Jull said yesterday. There is a 95 percent probability that the parchment from the Habakkuk commentary dates to between 150 B.C. and 5 B.C., Jull said. 'Some of the papyrus samples bear exact written dates within the text itself. These dates match those determined by the carbon-14 measurements,' the Israel Antiquities Authority stated in a news release. 'The reliability of paleography as a dating method is thus confirmed.'"
by Jim EricksonNewly Discovered Tunnel May Once Have Carried Dead Sea ScrollsReports have described the discovery, by a team led by Ronny Reich and Eli Shukron, of an "escape hatch" or "drainage tunnel" under the main street of ancient Jerusalem... two weeks earlier, archaeologists discovered the tunnel while searching for the city's main road. Shukron is quoted as saying that workmen engaged in the search "happened upon a small drainage channel that led to the discovery of the massive tunnel." The same report states that "the walls of the tunnel ... reach a height of 10 feet in some places," and a photograph of the site would appear to confirm that... According to the large group of stories based on the AP report, "Archaeologists think the tunnel leads to the Kidron River, which empties into the Dead Sea." The Nahal (or Wadi) Qidron does indeed lead eastward to the sea, but about halfway toward that body of water it bifurcates, the one main branch, under the same name, continuing east-southeast to the sea -- while the other bends slightly northward and, bearing the name of Nahal (or Wadi) Qumran, leads to Khirbet Qumran and was the main source feeding the large water-reservoirs that distinguish this site. The report of the Israel Antiquities Authority, focusing on the items found in the tunnel, states: "pottery shards ... and coins from the end of the Second Temple period, prior to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in ... 70 C.E., were discovered in the channel."
by Norman Golb
Wednesday October 24, 2007The Qumran QuandaryArchaeological digs at Qumran and surrounding settlements have revealed not an isolated, penurious community, but in some respects a rather flourishing one, which in the Second Temple period contained installations for blacksmithing and tanning and what seems to be an immense pottery factory. The residents there traded with other settlements, kept a stable, grew crops and raised sheep. Based on theories that the residents lived a communal lifestyle, some have termed it "the first kibbutz," complete with agriculture, light industry, a communal dining room and a common treasury - a cache of hundreds of silver coins was found on the site.
by Ziv Hellman
Issue 8, August 4, 2008The Enigma of QumranThe participants in this discussion, all field archaeologists, are Joseph (Yossi) Patrich, associate professor of archaeology at the University of Haifa; Hanan Eshel, senior lecturer in archaeology at Hebrew University and Bar-Ilan University; Yizhar Hirschfeld, lecturer of classical archaeology at Hebrew University; and Jodi Magness, associate professor of classical and Near Eastern archaeology at Tufts University. BAR editor Hershel Shanks moderates the discussion, which was held in Jerusalem last summer.
[debate transcript, 1998]
and here's something kinda nutty:Ancient Graves Found at QumranGrave robbers, who presumably saw the archaeologists looking around the area last year, had already plundered the site by the time the formal dig began. Richard Freund of the University of Hartford said the latest discovery challenges previous assumptions about the community and its cemetery of 1,178 graves. The dig's co-director, Israeli archaeologist Magen Broshi, was cautious in characterizing the coffin's occupant. "The only thing we can be certain of is that he was a very affluent man," he said.
by Steve Weizman
Scribal Marks in the Dead Sea ScrollsRecent discussion on Orion interested me in the issue of Chinese characters in the Dead Sea Scrolls. My attention focused particularly on the two symbols that were first associated with Chinese: the symbol in the bottom right margin of 1QS column 7 and the symbol in the right margin of 1QS column 9, line 3. In 1990, Victor Mair cautiously compared and contrasted these two symbols with the Chinese character "ti"... Looking at John Trever's published photographs of 1QS, my impression was that these two symbols were elaborated paragraphos marks (perhaps even coronis marks), used to separate sense units. The use of the paragraphos and coronis in Greek manuscripts is introduced in Turner (1971).
by Jay C. Treat
okay, lots more here: