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Re: orion Qumran/Oasis

Dear Mark,

It might be worthwhile remembering the elaborate system for providing water
to Qumran. Do you think that such a system would have been paid for had
there been enough water naturally in the area? (Incidentally, it is
precisely this water system that was used as a basis for an analysis of the
Qumran site as a Hasmonean defence installation - phase 1B. Why put a
outpost there where there is no water, but has a good view of the northern
end of the Dead Sea and probably eye contact with a few of the outer-lying


>Ian Hutchesson responded to part of a missive of Stephen Goaranson's by
>stating that "[t]he nearest [oasis to Qumran] is En Gedi."  I wonder if this
>assertion is accurate.  Some months ago there was discussion about the
>climate in the area of Qumran in the period about 200 B.C.E. to 100 C.E.  It
>seems to me that I recall that the primary reason the level of the Dead Sea
>was so much higher than it is today (a circumstance recently referred to by
>Ian, I believe) was that the area was substantially wetter than it is today.
> This could account for some of the water available for bathing and, it
>seems, would imply that the general living conditions were not so harsh as
>now.  Moreover, it would seem logical that such a milder/wetter climate might
>create a situation where persons living/stationed at Qumran might have had
>"palm trees for company."  

Ian Hutchesson

But grasp this writing so that you know how to preserve the books which I
will give you, which you will put in order and anoint with cedar oil and
place in vessels of clay in the place which he made from the beginning of
the creation of the world... (TMos 1:16-17)