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orion Jars and 1a & 1b dates

Sigrid Peterson observes that "the significance of the 9/8 bce gap in
habitation goes past me, . . . ." 

Sigrid, I think part of the "significance" is found in a post by the exiled IH
dated 9/21/97 which I borrowed from in yesterday's message.  The argument is:
"Stephen is deeply dependent on the success of his anomalous dating of the end
of 1b.  Without it his Marcus Agrippa source for reporting the state of Qumran
in 14 BCE falls apart."  In other words, if the occupation ended well befoe 14
BCE (rather than from a fire or some such catastrophy in 9/8 BCE), then
whatever MA was talking of wasn't Q.  This, presumably, is one of the reasons
why SG is such a strong proponent of JM's analysis.  The two are symbiotic.  I
certainly do not mean that this is a bad thing or some sort of conspiracy.
There is nothing inherently wrong about finding support for an alaysis in some
other persons research.  

If you have IH's post mentioned above he does a pretty good job of presenting
the other side of the argument.

To get back to a question asked yesterday and not discussed:  Is this jar in
the floor something like a wall safe?  I ask because of the discussion of
whether this was a villa or more like a monestary or mother house.  In my
minds eye it is easier to picture a hidding place for valuables in a villa
than a monestary.  Why would someone want to pop a scroll in the jar in the
floor to hide it - if it was a hidding place?  What robber would want to take
a scroll.  Of course, if the scroll was copper and listed all the treasures of
the occupants of the site, then maybe they would want to be able to hide it
quickly and throw a basket or a mat made of date palm fronds on top.  If that
is the case, maybe this was more like the Vatican?  No offense intended. Maybe
only a few elders over the age of 35 even knew the jar was there.  But then
again, maybe it wasn't a hidding place at all.  Are there other sites where
similar jars in the floor have been found?

As to SG's suggestion that Herod the Great might not have been getting along
with Essenes toward the end of his life, I don't see any suggestion of that in
my reading. I don't have my Josephus here, but I recall that even near his
death Herod went to Jericho and was "treated" by Essenes who were presumably
skilled in "medical" practices and treatments.  Herod was obviously in very
bad shape near the end.  I don't know what his illness was but I assume that
some educated guesses could be made.  He was obviously taking out his own
discomfort on those around him, including his own children, but even at the
end he was looking for help from the Essenes.  So, although SG does have some
arguments that counter the position of IH and others, I am not persuaded that
Herod took time out to knock down Q. 

Mark Dunn