Dear Joe,

Thanks for your response. 

We can agree that Nathan and Haas's sexing was correct and 
we should be able to agree that the remains came from 
Qumran. Now Steckoll published that these bones mainly came 
from north-south graves in the main cemetery. I see no 
a priori reason for Steckoll to write this if it weren't 
true. The bones were of the same stock and bearing the same 
dye stains as those found at Ein el-Ghuweir according to 
what Haas told Bar-Adon. I see very little room for you to 
move regarding your claims about Steckoll's data. It would 
just seem that the data is inconvenient for your theory, so 
it seems that as you are unable to attack it directly, you 
continue to attack the man.

Pliny says what he says. The text has often been manipulated 
by those who support the Essene Hypothesis. I merely point 
out that he doesn't say what those people want him to say. 
I'm not questioning his reliability in the particular matter 
at all. What he says just doesn't help locate Essenes at 

The Lisan Peninsula is very low, as is the land below 
Qumran. It doesn't take much change to cover much of it.
Nevertheless, Qumran is still on the litorral of the Dead 

>    1. Compare the pottery of Qumran, with that of wealthier sites, Masada,
>Jericho, Qumran it's basic, simple and boring, no foreign
>wares, no diversity.

Masada was a royal establishment, Jericho a flourishing 
city with royal patronage and Caesaria was a sea port. 
Look at the sites that Hirchfeld mentions.

>    2. Luxurious living in the style of a manor ?, 

Nobody mentioned luxurious living. Hirschfeld is talking 
about ex-soldiers.

>G. You state in your arguments that Qumran is not sectarian whereas you then
>suggest that it may have been inhabited by Sadduccees. Are they not

If you want to call the temple establishment a sect, 
then ok.

And, if adults can die, so can children (after they 
make it past the first ten years). (But, it was only 
a passing comment!)

Part of the aqueduct is a tunnel cut through the rock 
of the hills above the site. You are only talking 
about the part that arrived at Qumran. De Vaux 
indicates that there must also have been a catchment 
basin "to regulate the flow of water" as the quantity 
of water which flowed through Wadi Qumran when it did 
flow "far exceeded the capacity of the cisterns".

>J. If Qumran was a strategic military site as you state in the first century
>BC, then why was it not fortified and why did Herod later not use is as a
>military base?

Strategies change. However, the placement of ex-
soldiers in border zones was a policy of making 
those borders more secure.

>K. As far as the scrolls in caves 7-9 which are in the site itself, remember
>that Josephus wrote that 'neophytes had to swear that they would preserve
>the books of the sect"

Has anyone ever used the contents of caves 7-9 in a 
discussion of the Essenes? No, not at all. There is 
so little evidence, so few fragments that texts from 
these caves could have been simply been for local 
consumption. They clearly don't reflect anything 
about the rest of the scroll bearing caves. Cave 7 
gaves us mainly tiny Greek fragments, cave  8, tiny 
scraps of Genesis and Psalms, a phylactery, a 
mezuzah and a fragment of a hymn in Hebrew, cave 9 
an "unclassified fragment". No arguments can be made 
from this paucity of data.

>L. Josephus, wrote that the Essenes followed a way of life taught to the
>Greek by Pythagoras (Ant. XV 371) Certain of these aspects, org. into
>brotherhoods, community life and common property, modesty appear in the
>arch. record of Qumran, part. the cemetery.

Brotherhoods or associations were the vogue in the 
Greek world from the time of Alexander onwards.

As to communal property, I should underline that 
individuals had their own possessions while being 
members of the association outlined in 1QS. See 
1QS 5,16-17, "No-one should eat [food of sinners] 
... unless at its price", ie members had money; 
1QS 7,7-10, if someone squanders community wealth 
he shall replace it or be punished for 60 days, 
ie members had possessions; and 1QS 8,21-23, if 
anyone breaks a word of Moses impertinently, he 
will be banished and no-one should associate with 
his goods, ie he had possessions. People have 
been swayed too much by a priori commitments to 
deal with what the text says on this matter.

I think you are making a straw dog out of the 
archaeological record, or at least arguing against 
the villa hypothesis and not that of the manor. The 
archaeological record seems to be consistent with 
the generally modest background of the people 
Hirschfeld indicated probably inhabited the site, 
but one should note the column capitals, some traces 
of fine wares in the pottery assemblage and even 
some traces of what appears to be opus sectile, all 
admitted to by Magness in her article against the 
Donceel villa hypothesis.

And I don't think you have enough data from the 
cemetery -- seeing that the vast majority of it has 
not been excavated -- to make your claims about it 
(add to the problem your apparent shaping of the 
data by ignoring Steckoll's three women and one 
child and the undecided status of the Roehrer-Ertl 


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