Dear Rochelle,

>   >The cracked cistern
>   >-------------------
>   >Zavislock, .. He sees that the cracking was done at the
>   >first introduction of water into the structure --
>Fair enough; *as I noted*, if from settling because of the clay softening,
>it would have cracked at the first rains. However, you still have not
>accounted for cracks in other cisterns or for the damage to other parts of
>the water system....

If there is some sort of subsidence, it's not going 
to stop where the cistern concerned stops.

>(BTW, if at first fill, the crack could have been repaired; the techniques
>and materials were known for 3,000 plus years by the 2nd BCE.)

But then, this is also true for the earthquake theory. 
(Usually people rebuild and got on with things after a 

   >Dead Sea topography
   >The conversation was about the limit of the sea level based on the
   >location of Ein Feshka during the Qumran period. I can't see how
   >hypothetical crevices, passes, caves, etc., have any bearing on the
   >local topography so as to render irrelevant the altitude of Ein Feshka
   >as a limiting factor for the height of the sea at the time. Perhaps you
   >could explain.

>It is _5 miles_ (or 9 kilometers) 

It's actually less than 3 km as the crow flies 
going by de Vaux's map. John Bartlett, "Arch. & 
Bib. Interpretation", p88, gives it as 2 km. 

(It's much closer to the sea than Qumran, 1/2 km 
as compared to about 1 km, but the land rises 
more rapidly approaching Ras Feshka.)

>and be careful how you interpret "littoral"
>-- we are not talking about a nice, flat sand beach, not even the Estoral --

I understand litora as indicative of the coastal zone, 
as in other parts of Pliny, we find towns "in litore".

>and while I realize that photographs taken from above make it look as if the
>littoral of the Dead Sea is flat... there are plenty of mountainous intrusions.

The photographs I have in mind are de Vaux, "Arch. & 
DSS", Plates XXXa and XXXI, especially XXXa, which 
was taken at a height similar to the foot of the 
Qumran shelf. The land is not flat but it's low. You 
can see some of its formation in XXXI. "Mountainous 
intrusions" doesn't seem to provide a good idea; low 
undulations, especially sedimentary around the wadis.

>The limiter is the height of the lowest pass between the two sites. The
>question is when that lowest point opened.

I can't see the reasoning here.

>   >>Please get a book on the geology of the Med and another on hydrology;
>   >This is just being naughty.
>Perhaps; but I do have sufficient reason from other assertions you have made
>in the past to have doubts as to your first hand knowledge on subjects you
>have raised, no?

We are trying to understand something, not play 
oneupmanship. We both think the data's important.

>   >Our main indication is a crack running through a few conjoining cisterns.
>   >We can't start with the -- in this case -- unlearned opinion of de Vaux,
>   >who after all was not an architect or a geologist.
>Hmm, I don't remember saying anywhere that I depended upon de Vaux --

He was the one who uncovered the "evidence". If you 
know of some analysis of earthquake effects at the 
Qumran site after the writing of Arch. & DSS (c.1970), 
I would appreciate any bibliographical lead! The 
earthquake of 31 BCE is taken by the old school as 
the terminus of period 1b. And de Vaux only knows of 
Steckoll's use of Zavislock.

>   >I think the ball is still in your court: what actual evidence do you have
>   >to suggest the altitude of Ein Feshka isn't the limiting factor for the
>   >height of the sea during Qumran times?
>The peak recorded in the geological records. These Lisan records are not
>smooth curves up and down. They're bumpy; with increases and decreases showing
>up even as the greater increase in overall level is recorded. The level during
>the period covering the construction of the site is not a little blip; it's
>the very peak of a good sized high with a dip and then a slight rise on the
>near (towards CE) side and then a bumpy slide with small peaks on the downhill
>side till the deposit record finally disappears through lack of adequate

It makes sense in a stats graph sort of way, but 
I don't see that this is as dealing with the 

>But then, the whole point of getting involved in a thread out here is this:
>The site shows two different periods of habitation. (In fact, from what
>evidence we do have, we are talking about two different types of inhabitants
>as well.) 

We agree here.

>The geological record also shows two different periods of water
>level. What applies to one period of habitation and/or water-level does not
>necessarily apply to the other.

What are the sources that indicate that the water 
level was noticeably different between the two 
periods? (This is interesting, though I would be 
happy even with just a quotable indication of the 
general height of the sea level at the time with 
its 50% higher rainfall.)


(Dave, you read me rightly. And hard data is rarer 
than stardust.)

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