Dear Ian
 I think that you have overreacted in suggesting that out of hand I rejected
the findings of the Germans and that of Steckoll. The latter I reject out of
hand for reasons which I state in my paper as well as having actually seen
the skeletal material. The data as well as conclusions are scientifically
worthless in terms of the debate. As for the Germans I did not attempt to
critique their work, but rather disagreed with some of their conclusions,
part. the
attempt to 'resex' some of the material as well as their inability to 'read'
the data correctly. As for my being in Germany for less a week to study the
material, I knew immediately on the basis of past experience and seeing
their report before it was published,  that it was flawed. I went there to
see if perhaps I was wrong, being unable to read the orig. report which
was in German, however the raw data, i.e. metrics as well as photos spoke
volumes. There was no need to critique those to whom we are all indebted for
preserving the material as well as allowing others to study it.
Unfortunately, this full cooperation which was extended to me is
not universal as other institutions denied access to the material which is
unheard of  with material which had already been published.  One must
remember that the skeletal material had been published by De Vaux et al
years before. As a former museum curator denying public access to
researchers in unheard of.

As for Steckoll having a permit to excavate in Qumran, what he had was
permission from a member of the Jordanian Royal Family, and no institutional
support whatsoever. The artifacts that were recovered from the site, were
offered to me by Steckoll himself for sale, which I declined however some of
the objects were purchased by private
collectors. One could go on and on however as he is not around to defend
himself, enough said on this topic.

True one doesn't need an archaeological/anthropological background to link
or attempt to link Qumran with the Essenes, however the earlier scholars
based their ideas on historical/written sources which were strongly
indicative that this was the site referred to by Pliny. This is why the the
site had to be exc. by Fr. De Vaux, as it was the arch/anthro. date which
could confirm of disconfirm the theories. The consenous today is that they
were right in linking the site with the Essenes. As I and others have stated
that the Ein Gedi hypothesis is a weak one, the same huts that were found by
Hirschfeld, also occur in the close vicinity of Qumran. This may be
unpublished data, but these huts were found in surveys conducted by the IAA
in the 90's and were regarded as seasonal huts for workers, much the same
way that one finds sim. huts in the agricultural regions of the West Bank
today for seasonal workers.

As far as proposing that the Essenes were from 'poor backgrounds, wearing
clothes in rags, despising of riches" and equating this with high rates of
illiteracy, the story of Gandi comes to mind, plus he was a spinner of wool!
This is the life style of the ascetic and does not correlate literacy in
Judaism.  One must also remember that both Josephus and Philo state that the
Essenes read and preserved texts, (Scrolls) not to mention that for Jews in
antiquity, salvation was accorded to those that could study the Torah,
unlike faith alone in other religions, which was all that was needed. I
would agree that literacy in the towns and villages was not that high, but
in the Essene community one would expect that it was very high.

In your posting you maintain that during the Revolt scrolls were stored for
safekeeping in several places throughout the country and that cave 4 was one
of these. Hard to accept that cave 4 was a storage facility in that all the
scrolls were deposite in the cave sans jars, unlike cave 1. The latter was
clearly a storage facility whereas the former was a last minute undertaking
to hide the scrolls. In fact, having been phyysically inside the cave there
is not enough space to accomodate hundreds of storage jars.

As to which manuscripts belong to the Qumran community,  for starters
lets begin with the Manual of Discipline as well as the materials from caves
4,5, 7,8,9, the last three caves are accessible only by directly going
through the site. To argue, as some have,   that there is no relation
between the inhabitants of the site and the scrolls is preposterous, in view
of the fact that caves 7,8,9 are only accessable via the site itself !
Furthermore you write that "... my demographic analysis... supports no
particular group',  then one would have to ask, what group would you posit
as an alternative, i.e. predominately male, no children, no infants?
Zealots, Sadd. Phar. ... or whatever?  Until someone finds similar data
elsewhere,  west of the Dead Sea, between Jericho and Ein Gedi, the
cemetery/archaeological/anthropological data appear to fit the Essene=Qumran
theory quite well.


Science and Archaeology Group @ The Hebrew University
----- Original Message -----
From: Ian Hutchesson <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Sent: Saturday, June 08, 2002 11:00 PM
Subject: Re: orion-list Essene cemetery at Jericho?

> Dear Joe,
> You wrote:
> >My attempt to define the site of Qumran, Ain el-Ghuweir and posssibly
> >Zissu's site in Jerusalem as Essene is based mainly on demographics, i.e.
> >the lack of women with the exception of one at Qumran and the lack of
> >children at all of the three sites.
> This is your analysis of the matter -- but not the only
> analysis --, in which you disagree with Roehrer-Ertl over
> the classification of the bones long in his hands. At the
> same time, you reject -- apparently out of hand -- the
> finds in the cemetery of three women made by Solomon
> Steckoll, who you note was not an archaeologist but more
> of a journalist and of whose work you have the opinion
> that it is totally unreliable. In dismissing both Roehrer-
> Ertl and Steckoll you might end up with data that reflects
> the demographics you now have in mind, but I personally
> would like to know more.
> Your complaint with Roehrer-Ertl was that the heights of
> the remains of three bodies he declared female were 159,
> 159 and 163cm, which are well above the average height for
> women of the period (150cm), but quite normal for males of
> the time (160cm). This makes sense, but is it sufficient
> to overturn the learned opinion of a specialist in the
> field whose acquaintance with the bones has been since in
> 1991? Is it not true that your contact with all the bones
> was for brief periods over less than a week?
> The treatment of Steckoll in footnote 56 on page 240 of your
> article seems only to be an ad hominem dismissal of the man
> leaving the work untouched. (Puech of course is (yet again)
> welcome to his opinion, here of Steckoll.) You make the
> complaint that Steckoll's work in the cemetery was illegal,
> but at the time he started his operation there, the territory
> was under the control of the Jordanian government, and
> Steckoll actually had permission from that government to
> perform his work. It was only after the 1967 war that Qumran
> past under the control of Israel and all such cemetery digs
> were disallowed.
> Nonetheless, there are three women accredited to graves in
> the central part of the cemetery, as published in a journal
> of repute, the Revue de Qumran. Steckoll's efforts were of
> such low esteem that he was allowed to publish another article
> in the same journal.
> >My argument with Golb et al is that the problem facing Qumran scholars is
> >basically an anthropological/archaeological one whereas nearly all the
> >interpertations have been made by textual scholars which is why the
> >has been overlooked.
> I need to add here that it was people without a basic
> anthropological/archaeological background who first
> suggested the Essene Hypothesis, people who were prepared
> to overlook the inconsistencies in Pliny to use him in
> support of the Essenes at Qumran -- when Pliny clearly
> says that the Essenes "fled" the littoral of the sea
> and where do we find Qumran? on the littoral! The
> Hirschfeld site above Ein Gedi fits neatly into the
> description found in Pliny as naturally Ein Gedi is below
> it and it seems more likely than Qumran to have been a
> poor religious retreat. So, there is nothing at all to
> tie the Essenes to Qumran, except for tendentious
> readings of scrolls and perhaps your demographic analysis,
> but it in no way directly suggests any particular group.
> (And the reason why I previously mentioned Golb was
> because you spent your time attacking his positions
> rather than doing the job of considering the evidence for
> the Essenes, an action that wan't done in the section you
> headed "Discussion: Is Qumran Essene?". One would have
> expected something to follow which attempted to resolve
> the question.)
> >As for the large number of copies of certain texts which you cite, I
> >that many scholars today would agree that not only were many of these
> >scrolls not Qumranic in origin but may have been stored there in the
> >for safe keeping.
> This of course opens up an interesting area of arbitrarness.
> How does one know that any of the scrolls belonged to
> inhabitants of Qumran? It cannot be assumed and it hasn't
> been shown.
> I also support the notion that the scrolls were stored in
> the caves, however.
> Let me mention here my own analysis of the scrolls deposit:
> in 63 BCE the Sadducees were in possession of a number of
> fortresses (and/or other military sites), which at that time
> included Qumran -- not as a fortress, but an ancilliary
> establishment (it has an extremely strategic position
> directly on the coast from Hyrcania, in line of site of
> Machaerus and Jericho, and commanded a view of the shipping
> on the sea). With the wind of Pompey's arrival and the
> strong possibility of an apocalyptic war, valuable texts
> (as indicated by the Copper Scroll) were gathered in
> Jerusalem and sent to sites around the country, including
> Jericho and Qumran. Long before the storage process could be
> finished the process had to be abandoned (due to the need to
> defend Jerusalem) and the bulk of the scrolls were sealed in
> cave 4, where they lay until the 1950s.
> >The pottery analysis of several scrolls jars would seem to
> >belie this assertion. Lastly, as for literacy, it would be hard to
> >that the men of Qumran would not be literate on the basis of what is
> >about the sect.
> What would make you think such an idea? In America today
> there is a *functional* illiteracy rate of over 20%. This
> is with obligatory education for everyone. As to the Essenes
> all indications we have of them point to a poor background:
> denial of familial ties, wearing of clothes in rags being
> acceptable, despising of riches, (at least according to
> Josephus), and there is nothing in any of the ancient
> accounts to make one think that they were overendowed with
> readers.
> The few dozen people at Qumran worked in their shops. The
> analysis of Qumran as an early Roman Manor house by Hirschfeld
> seems reasonable, at least after the building of the acqueduct.
> (In fact in his comparison of numerous similar sites around
> Israel, he concluded that "There is no evidence from the
> excavations or in the historical sources that the Essenes
> inhabited the site of Qumran at any time." He is, of course,
> correct, though he could have made the statement generic as
> "a religious group" and not just "the Essenes".) As a
> productive centre, Qumran's population would have had their
> "productive" work to do. There is no reason to believe that
> the Qumran inhabitants were of the elite who belonged to
> schools in which they could learn the process of reading and
> writing (and Ben Sira indicates how much of an elite they
> were), or could dedicate the time necessary to learn to read.
> I remember reading an article about literacy in Judea, though
> I don't have the details at hand -- perhaps someone else has
> read it. It suggests a very low literacy rate. Why should this
> not also be true of the Essenes, who were after all of a class
> of people from whom one wouldn't expect people with the
> necessary education?
> Ian

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