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Re: orion news article

> Emanuel Hirschfeld is a serious and capable archaeologist, so there's no
> doubt he's onto something here; the question is: what?
> I've previously resisted the automatic assumption that the complex in
> Qumran was inhabited by "Essenes", so I'll be duly hesitant to identify
> Hirschfeld's find with them. If there was more than one settlement of that
> character in the vicinity it's possible that one, more, or none of them
> were known as "Essene settlements". The question is not what the fabled
> "Essenes" were, but what Pliny took them to be...

Agreed.  At the same time, this discovery would seem to answer the 
argument by those favoring a Qumran-Essene connection that there is 
no other site in the vicinity that qualifies to fit Pliny's 
description.  The one-man rooms, agricultural activity and such seem 
to fit extant descriptions of the Essenes far better than the 
structures and perceived activities at Qumran, and its location makes 
sense of Pliny's statement that Ein Gedi was "below" the Essene 
settlement.  So prima facie, identifying it as an Essene site makes 
sense.  However, it does bother me (consistently) that the reporter 
(and most all reporters) simply assumes that Essenes inhabited Qumran 
and wrote the DSS.  That's the part that gives me the biggest 

It will be interesting to follow this new find and see what else it 

Dave Washburn
If you don't know where you're going, don't lead.