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Re: Number of women at Qumran, was Re: smtp mail warning

I would suggest comparing the comments below with what I read in de Vaux, 
_Archaeology and the Dead Sea Scrolls_, pp 46-47.  Almost certainly, from 
reading de Vaux, at least one of the five skeletons of women mentioned by 
him was intact rather than a reburied pile of bones (provided that the 
"rectangular trench" of p. 46 is identical with the "rectangular grave" of 
p. 47), with no indication of a wooden coffin (and no mention of iron 
nails).  On pp. 46-47, de Vaux also speaks of seven graves excavated in 
an extension of the cemetary.  Two of these were irregular trenches that 
contained reburials of the bones of an individual, while, from his manner 
of description, the others involve intact burials, two in wooden coffins 
and the others apparently not.  Of these burials, six skeletons were 
examined, four were women, and two were children.  From this, I would 
conclude that of five remains of women, at most two were reburied, and at 
most two (not the same two) were placed in wooden coffins (de Vaux does 
not indicate which of these were the two skeletons of children).  While 
this interpretation of de Vaux is not absolutely certain, it doesn't seem 
to support the idea that the remains of women are all the result of 
reburial.  Perhaps de Vaux (or my reading of de Vaux) is the problem, but 
something doesn't seem to add up here.

De Vaux does comment that the ordered arrangement of the main part of the 
cemetary is in contrast to the general disorder of other cemetaries of 
the period.  While this order might have been connected by some to the 
monastic idea, what other possibilities are there for understanding it?

David Suter
Saint Martin's College

On Fri, 17 May 1996, YRUSALEM wrote:

> I vaguely remember wood being mentioned in the original talk. But I must 
> warn you that I did not confirm this issue with Broschi nor do I remember 
> that he surmised this or saw the wood remains. The question to be asked 
> is whether nails implie wood ipso facto, or could they have had some 
> other use, ie ornimentation, indication of status or the like?
> yours Pinchas Richard Wimberly, Jerusalem
> On Thu, 16 May 1996, Asia Lerner wrote:
> > 
> > 
> > > From: YRUSALEM <yrusalem@actcom.co.il>
> > 
> > > I was sitting next to Magen Broshi today so I asked him about the earlier 
> > > question on my quoting his reasons, and conclusions as to why we are 
> > > dealing with a monastary at Qumran. He reaffirmed my notes as quoted 
> > > earlier. 52 burials dug up. 8 women only. 
> > 
> > This clarifies the previous misunderstanding. The "15" referes to women _and_
> > children. Hence, 8 women, 7 children among the 52 dug-up graves.
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > These 8 were at the margins, 
> > > with bones heaped rather than laid supine, with iron nails nearby 
> > > indicating repackaging for reburial. 
> > 
> > 
> > No mention of wooden coffins, by any chance? Otherwise, what would be the 
> > function of nails?
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > Best, Asia
> > 
> > 
> > 
> >