Dear Russell

Regarding your query as to whether the Roman period graves found in Jericho
show affinities to those at Qumran, the scant archaeological evidence, which
I pointed out in my article (The Cemeteries of Qumran and Celibacy:
Confusion Laid to Rest? (Dead Sea Discoveries  Vol.7 no. 2) suggests that
they are ethnically different. Four out of seven tombs share the same tomb
architecture as that of Qumran, however the inclusion of grave goods,
suggests that they are not Essene in origin. In my opinion, assigning Essene
affinity to a cemetery must contain the following four shared criteria:
orientation, tomb architecture, demographic disparity and few if any grave
goods. "Without these defining criteria, all appearing in Qumran and nearby
Ain el-Ghuweir cemeteries, any attempt to assign definite Essene affiliation
will remain unconvincing" p.244. This remains true for Jericho as well.

Lastly, I would question several points in J. Zangenberg's reply,
the assertion that both sites Jericho and Qumran share certain sociological
and typological similarities such as 'both are oasis populations involved in
agriculture'. Qumran is totally unlike Jericho, the latter being a lush
oasis whereas the former is totally dependent on runoff water being brought
to the site in the winter by acquduct. Furthermore, Jericho during the
Herodian period
was a population running well into the thousands, Qumran at best,  several
dozen,  the list of disparities is long. The only ethnic similarity between
the two sites is that in both sites lived Jews, one (Qumran) being Essene
and the population of Jericho being, the 'Other'. I would argue that the
influence of one on the other was probably insignificant.

 Joe Zias
Science and Archaeology Group @ The Hebrew University
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, May 29, 2002 9:45 PM
Subject: orion-list Essene cemetery at Jericho?

>     Thanks to all who respondd to my query on Qumran Hebrew.
>     A new question.  I'm trying to evaluate the hypothesis that the
> of the Herodian era had a significant presence at Jericho.  It has been
> suggested that criticisms directed against the "men of Jericho" at bTal
> 55b ff, Men. 71a ff, dealing with various practices of agricultural
> may be directed against the Essenes; and I note that Dio Chrysostom
> apparently refers to Jericho as the "blessed city of the Essenes".
>     My question.  In 1957 Kathleen Kenyon wrote, "The Jericho of Herod the
> Great was a mile and three-quarters to the south-west, where the Wadi Qelt
> provides another source of water... In the Roman period the ancient mound
> served as a burial ground.  A number of graves have been found of a
> form, with the body in a recess cut along one side of the base of a
> grave-like shaft, identical in type wuth those found at Qumran..."
> Up Jericho, 264).  Does this interpretation still hold up?  That is, do
> Jericho graves unearthed in 1952-1956 have special affinities with those
> Qumran?
> Best regards,
> Russell Gmirkin

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