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orion "1966 jar"; coins; paleography, etc.
On 29 Oct, G. Doudna wrote: "In 1966 A. Djawani, director of antiquities
for Jordan, reported finding a storage jar at Qumran intact--with
provisions (food)--inside. (No locus information, and he's dead now.)"
In Rev. Biblique 73 (1966) 585 an intact jar found at Qumran was
reported by Rafik W. Dajani (not Awni Dajani). If I recall correctly (and I
may be mistaken), Hanan Eshel showed (at ASOR/SBL 1996) a slide of a jar
found in a wall and/or balk (not in a floor in this case) which became
exposed (in the 1960s?) by weathering. (Perhaps this jar added impetus to
the excavations by Solomon Steckoll?) Perhaps that was the same jar. If so,
the locus number may be recoverable. Also, though it has been stated that
de Vaux dug all of the site (and he did dig most of it), this find, the
ostraca finds, the identification by Y. Magen and A. Drori of of a "date
press," the first century CE coins and sandal nails found by H. Eshel and
M. Broshi, the graves, etc., indicate that perhaps other opportunities for
further exploration still exists.
On coins. Yaacov Meshorer, probably the premier numistmatist of
Jewish coins, in his summer Jerusalem paper/abstract largely concurred
with the habitation phases proposed by J. Magness. (An exception may be his
suggestion of a slightly later end of period 2; though this is difficult to
evaluate without being informed of the context in which those two coins
were found.) M. Broshi noted in his 1992 article "The Archaeology of
Qumran--A Reconsideration" (in DSS, 40 Years of Research; D.Dimant et al
.ed.) the relevance of D.T. Ariel, "A Survey of Coin Finds in Jerusalem,"
SBFLA 32 (1982) 273-326. So many coins have been excavated in Jerusalem,
that, even though it may not be an exact cross-section sample, it is quite
suggestive. It shows that one cannot assume coins were minted in Herodian
times at the same rate as Hasmonean times. Y. Magen has also noted this
phenomenon. In the case of the coin hoard, many have recognized that it
appears to be a temple-tax collection. This coheres with the Essene
presence (and a likely death of the mevaqqer during the destruction in or,
more likely, shortly after 9/8 BCE). A supposedly-abandoned site would not
be a probable choice for a non-resident to choose as a treasure hiding
Paleography. In DJD XVIII, Ada Yardeni dates the various 4Q copies
of the Damascus Document in first century BCE (e.g. 4Q266) and first
century CE (e.g. 4Q270). Copies of D and S apparently evolved over many
decades in first centuries BCE and CE.
Archaeology, pottery, coins, paleography, radiocarbon
measurement, Qumran ms study all appear to me to indicate long-term
communal residence at Qumran in 1BCE and 1CE. Historical sources indicate
Essenes are the only suitable available candidate for that long duration,
IMO, and the mss cohere with an Essene collection. There are, of course,
very many *other* questions which have yet to be adequately answered.
Stephen Goranson firstname.lastname@example.org