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Qumran location (fwd)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 4 Mar 1996 18:27:36 EST
From: Ian Hutchesson <MC2499@mclink.it>
To: Multiple recipients of list <ioudaios-l@lehigh.edu>
Subject: Qumran location

Considering the location of the building complex at Qumran, which some have
said fits the description given thus "below En Gedi" (though it is much
closer to Jerico and Jerusalem than to En Gedi), we find it out on a shelf
above the Dead Sea about a kilometer from the water, not in any way hidden
and placed to be able to control movements up and down the shore. 
What was the purpose of this complex? The location doesn't suggest a safe
retreat where one could hide, tranquilly writing non-mainstream religious
literature, waiting for the time when the final confrontation could be
fought. When we think of safe hideouts we think of Khirbet Murabba'at for
example, hard to get at, hard to find.

The location of our complex would suggest that it was some type of
military/defensive purpose. Some of the newer-found structures have been
interpreted as having military purposes. Norman Golb wrote "There are no
substantial proofs that Essenes or other Jewish sectarians lived at this
site" (dss Project 1992-93 Annual Report).

If this is so, there is no need to associate the documents serendipitously
found in the caves nearby and stretching over a kilometer away with this place.

Ian Hutchesson