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orion Essenes, Palms, Water level

As mentioned earlier, it seems to me that Josephus is not saying that there
were two types of Essenes, i.e., one type married and one type didn't marry.
 It seems to me that what he was staying that one type did not hold marriage
in high esteem and the other type that would have treated it in a manner
similar to persons of other sects at that time.  Ian counters with references
to the former as 1) neglecting marriage, 2) neither marrying wives, and 3)
living by themselves.  As to neglecting marriage, that seems consistent with
the type of Essene that doesn't hold marriage in high esteem.  I am not sure
of the etymology of the word "neglect", but it does not seem to me that
neglecting something means rejecting something.  The "neither marrying wives"
part of what Josephus reports also seems consistent with notion that women,
in the view of one type of Essene, were a highly suspect group prone to
transfer their affection from one man to another and so women should be
subject to a three year try out period.  Living by themeselves (which by the
way appears consistent with what Pliny reports) does not say "Women Keep
Out."   To me, this more appropriately suggests that they did not live with
other sects or foreign persons such as those rotten Romans.   One of my
problems in this regard is that I do not understand the context, i.e., I do
not know much about the marriage practices of other sects at the time.  It
seems to me that things had become very liberal about who could be married,
who could be divorced, who could do the divorcing, etc. So, I'm not sure what
I am saying when I contend that one type of Essene treated marriage in the
same way as other contemporary sects.  What does that mean?

On the issue of how one approaches Qumran, I would agree that the road as now
configured approaches either from the north, as you describe, or from the
south through En Gedi.  I also think from the maps I have seen that the
northern approach was generally the same as it is now, except for the level
of the Dead Sea.  Whether raising the water level 70 meters would flood
Jericho, I don't know.  Does anyone out there have a decent topographic map
that would roughly locate the shore line if it was about 70 meters above its
current locus?   This might cut off the current southern approach to the
site.  I seem to remember seeing publically sold military maps of the seven
days war that included topographic information.  I don't mind much of
anything on the internet.

I think you are missing the point about the relationship between the level of
the sea and the ground water.  The hydrologists seem to say that in this area
there is a sort of 1 to 1 relationship between the subsurface ground water
and the level of the sea.  This is not the usual circumstance.  Therefore, if
the sea level is 70 meteres higher than it is today, then the ground water
(and hence natural springs and wells) appear that would not otherwise exist.
 The ground was is potable and, for example, at Jericho it was very cool and

Finally, you seem to want to shrink the Qumran site.  Magen Broshi, the
retired curator of the Dead Sea Scroll collection at the Israel Museum's
Shrine of the Book, and Hanan Eshel, of the Bar-Ilan University,  conducted a
1996 dig 100 meters north of the ruins and identified residential caves and
what they concluded were locations of tents.  Their work implies an overall
area of occupation substantially larger than you suggest and that would be
able to accomodate a large number of palms.

Mark Dunn