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Re: inkwells, etc.

David Jay Kaufman writes:

>       If we are to date the inkwells to circa 68 CE, I would suggest that
> they probably are actually from circa 70 CE and may have been used by Romans
> sending messages from the area of the siege of Masada. The complex at Qumran
> must have been more comfortable than any temporary camp at Masada would have
> been. Is this not a possibility? Of course, I really don't know the evidence
> on this one way or the other, but logically, it seems reasonable. There need
> not have been a large presence of soldiers if the site were simply taken over
> and then used as a message station. 
This is an interesting idea David.  However on the inkwells found
in Locus 30 (along with the stamp at the same locus with the Greek
name), these are in the destruction layer of c. 68 CE and hence
were interrupted in use at that date, and were not in use in 70 CE.
The publication of De Vaux's excavation notes (Humbert and Chambon,
1994, in French) open up many areas to question De Vaux's 
interpretations and periodizations of Qumran's settlement history,
but both the fire and the date of 68 CE seems abundantly corroborated.
(From my study of Humbert and Chambon's edition, this 68 CE 
destruction seems to be the _only_ dated strata, and I can see
no evidence for a 1b fire, or a basis for dating the previous 
occupation periods.)  (That the fire in 68 CE was a destruction
and not an accident is corroborated by a similarly dated c. 68 CE
fire at Ayn Feshka.  One scorched-earth accident can happen, but not 
two at the same time.)  
Greg Doudna      gd@teol.ku.dk