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Re: orion Qumran ostracon

I, Stephen Goranson, forward the following message, with his kind
permission, from Prof. James Strange, excavation director when the new
Qumran ostraca were found. Note that the two >> and >>> quotes are  (orion)
text of Greg Doudna, who I thank for his views. Dr. Magen is Yitshak Magen,
who dug at Qumran afterward, with A. Drori. A report (beyond newspaper
accounts), to my knowledge, of the latter excavation, has not yet appeared.
I thank Prof. Strange.
>Date: Tue, 26 Aug 1997 16:55:54 -0400 (EDT)
>From: "James Strange (REL)" <strange@chuma.cas.usf.edu>
>X-Sender: strange@chuma
>To: Stephen Goranson <goranson@acpub.duke.edu>
>Subject: Re: orion Qumran ostracon
>MIME-Version: 1.0
>On Tue, 26 Aug 1997, Stephen Goranson wrote:
>> >A final comment: these ostraca did not come from where the volunteer
>> >found them by the fence near the cemetery.  That was where the heavy
>> >equipment had dumped the dirt which had them.  Their original site for
>> >2000 years would have been where the equipment had dug, a few meters
>> >west.
>This speculation is simply incorrect.  We know the difference between
>dumped earth and undisturbed earth, which is rather difficult to miss
>ordinarily, and this was ordinary.   The main difference is in compaction,
>in which "dump" is quite loose.  The bottom of de Vaux's trench outside
>the wall is reasonably compact, as people have been walking on it and it
>has been weathered since his excavations.
>> The place to look for more is not at the find site (which was done)  but
>> at the trench dug by the equipment.  I hope there can be another dig at
>> the site of that trench again, this time by hand.
>The reason Dr. Magen dug again outside the wall and not in the trench on
>the plateau is also that he recognized the difference between "dump" and
>the compacted surface at the bottom of de Vaux's trench.  On the other
>hand someone should engage in controlled excavations on the plateau if for
>no other reason than to establish what was going onout there when Qumran
>was in use.
>You may post this, Steve, if it is helpful.
>Jim Strange