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Re: Golb and Asphalt

On Thu, 6 Jun 1996 Dunnlaw@aol.com wrote:

> In Norman Golb's "Who Wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls" he argues that in and after
> 70 A.D., according to the archelogical team's own findings, the occupants of
> Qumran were Roman soldiers.  He also says that there is no archaelogical
> evidence whatever indicating that Qumran was at any time inhabited by Pliny's
> Essenes or any other celibate community.  He says that, according to de Vaux
> and his colleagues, the site had originally been built as an Israelite
> fortress in the 7th century B.C. and clearly was a fortress during the
> Hassidim period.  Is there any argument about the assertions that Qumran was
> a fortress in the 7th and 8th century B.C. or that it was a fortress in the
> Hassidim period?

One argument against Golb's theory that Qumran was a fortress during the
later period is the fact that the walls are far too thin for it to have
been an effective fortification.  Golb's rejoinder to this is twofold. 

First, he claims that the walls had originally been thicker, but that the
walls' outer layer of limestone had been carted off to Jericho because it
was such a valuable commodity.  He said that this portions of this
limestone layer are still visible underneath part of the "tower"'s outer
wall, which had been added later. 

Second, Cross says in _The Ancient Library of Qumran_ (I don't have my
copy handy, so I cannot give the exact page number) that the Romans had to
tunnel underneath the site in order to conquer it in 68 CE.  Had the walls
truly been so ineffective, there would have been no need to do so.

I have not followed up on any of this stuff, but I am sure there is more
infomation out there, but I hope that this is helpful.

andrew gross