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orion Jars and 1a & 1b dates

>From what I understand so far, these jars have been found at the very least
at Jericho (where there were "fairly common" and where there are "industrial"
examples), Abila, Qumran, Masada, and Ein Feshkha.  In addition, there may be
examples at En Gedi and at least one in North Jordon?  From this the
statement is made "scroll jars have been found in a geographically small area
(Qumran was in Jericho toparchy?) and for a limited time." (SG, 10/31/97)?  I
thought Abila was in Perea, Jericho was in Judea, and Masada in Idumea?   I
am just wondering about how the phrase "geographically small area" is
defined.  And if "industrial" examples implies some sort of "industrial"
production, then why would the jars not be bought and sold like any other
commodity produced on the major trade route at the north end of the Dead Sea?

Is it reasonable to say that a jar burried in the floor with a tile covering
it so that it looked like the rest of the floor was something similar to a
modern wall safe, i.e., a place where valuables could be hidden quickly in
case that was needed?  What valuables?  Scrolls?  Coins (such as those found
on the nearby floor)?

Is the evidence for the end of the so-called 1b period simply the hoard of
coins burried beneath the level of II and above that of 1b coupled with the
speculation that this hoard was buried about the time to which the coins are
dated? Assuming a continuous occupation before 9/8 B.C.E., what is the event
that would cause the end of an occupation in about 9/8 B.C.E.?  I don't see
any such event reported anywhere that I have looked?  I have been under the
impression that Herod the Great was something of a "friend" of the Essenes
(if one presumes that it was Essenes at Q).  Herod apparently spent a great
deal of time at Jericho, the area was prosperous (e.g., plenty of water and
large, irrigated date palm orchards for miles around Jericho) and this was a
period of relative calm politically.  So what reason would there be for an
occupation to end in about 9/8 B.C.E.?  What else besides these coins
supports an occupation up to as late as 9/8 B.C.E.?

Mark Dunn