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Re: orion Ir Hammelech

Dear Jim - 
I don't know about consensus because I haven't taken a poll, but rather 
referred to recent publication of three Israelis who deal with historical 
geography, and came up with three different opinions:
1. Nadav Na'aman in Zion 54 (1989) indicates (ir hamelax on a map at a 
site that corresponds to Qumran;
2. Gershon Galil in The World of the Bible, Joshua (Hebrew 1994) admits 
to not knowing the site of (ir hamelax, but suggests it might be at Ein 
Turbeh, or by the vale of Salt (II Sam 8:13-14, II Kgs 14:7). Qumran he 
prefers to identify with Secacah (Josh 15:51);
3. Shmuel Ahituv in Miqra l'Yisrael, Joshua 1995 identifies (ir hamelax 
with Um Zugal, alternatively known as the fortress of Gozal, by the 
northern reach of the Sodom range.
Actually almost all site identifications are debated excepting the odd 
lucky cases where the site provides its own nametag on an epigraphic 
find, as with Gibeon.

Cynthia Edenburg
The Open University of Israel
POB 39328
Rehov Klausner                        Tel. 03-6460500
Ramat Aviv, Tel Aviv 61392            fax. 03-6460767
ISRAEL                                e-mail: cynthia@oumail.openu.ac.il