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Water Levels and a port.
With regard to the question of the water level in antiquity at Qumran and
the Yam haMelek. Ein Feshka is about two miles closer to the sea than the
Qumran site itself. De Vaux makes it clear in his _Archaeology and the
DSS_ that the site was used by the Qumran settlement during that time. So
if there was a port, it would have been closer to Ein Feshka than to
So NO, the qumran Site was not used as a port or a dock.
Again, the important key to evaluating many of these suggestions and
theories is the archaeological evidence. I do not have a copy of the first
volume of the exacavation report (just issued by J. Humbert) at hand so
that I can consult De Vaux's field notes, but my impression is that he did
not find material culture that would indicate trading. The first text that
could be interpreted as a "trade list" was found on a sherd in January by
Jim Strange and is currently being conserved and interpreted. Until we see
a professional report, we won't know anything further.
Paul V. M. Flesher
University of Wyoming
Laramie, WY 82071-3353