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orion Kidron South site of U. Dahari
As orion readers may recall, the 26 Jan. Associated Press article on Yizhar
Hirschfeld's excavations in the Ein Gedi area mentioned a "similar site"
excavated by Uzi Dahari, who had "some doubts" that Hirschfeld's site was
Essene and who considered Qumran an Essene location.
Uzi Dahari has kindly provided some information on his site and
gave permission to pass it along. Dahari's site is located in the cliffs
south of Wadi Kidron, between Ein Gedi and Qumran--that is, closer to
Qumran than to Ein Gedi. The site includes more than ten cells from the
first century CE. His excavation found many coins from the first revolt
against the Romans. There is no central building nor any Jewish baths or
water installations, so he does not think that this site served the
Essenes, but perhaps refugees from the first revolt.
Thanks to Uzi Dahari for this information.
Dahari has excavated in many sites, and has published in IEJ, the
Franciscan Collectio Maior series, Hadashot Arkheologiyot and elsewhere.
Another bit of news: his excavations of early Christian monasteries in the
remote south of the Sinai (see Ancient Churches Revealed, ed. Y. Tsafrir,
[Jerusalem: IEJ, 1993] 341-50) will be presented in a book now in press.