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Re: orion Ein-Gedi

Here is an email message that I received from a former student, Ian 
Werrett, who is presently a student at Trinity Western University.  He 
gives his description of a visit to the Hirschfelf site while 
participating in a dig at En Gedi last January, and I post it with his 

David W. Suter
Saint Martin's College
Lacey, WA 98503

>From Ian Werrett:

As for the "Essene Village" only Yizhar, his father and two other Israeli 
archaeologists performed a preliminary sounding in 96/97.  I hiked up to 
the site, which took 45 min to an hour, a la "Masada's snake path", and I 
can tell you that very few people other than the four listed above and 
myself visited the site.  Even Killebrew and some of the other 
archaeologists working at Ein Gedi neglected to visit the site and 
pumped me for information.  Killebrew is correct in saying that the 
"village" is impressive.  When I visited the site there were between 15 
to 18 visible dwellings.  All of the structures were simple one room 
squares with entrances on the western side (the side facing the hills and 
Wadi Arugot).  As I remember, most, if not all, of the walls were 
constructed with a single row of stones.  The dwellings formed a 
semi-circle around a now extinct spring which has a large bush-like 
tree growing in its place.  Below the plateau-like step on the hill side 
where the site sits there [were] a number of ancient agricultural stepped 
terraces which seem to be related to the site.  Early soundings of the 
site in 96/97 suggest that the site was to be dated to at least the first 
century CE as two coins were discovered by Hirschfeld, one of which had 
been minted during Pontius Pilate's reign, which, according to 
Hirschfeld, is very rare.  Secondly, there were many pottery fragments 
found which seem to be indicative of the early first century CE (I have a 
sherd from the "Essene Village" and according to Killebrew it appears to 
be at least 1st century if not earlier.)  

Feel free to share any of this with your colleagues on Orion.

All the best,