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Re: orion Where were "they"?
On Sun, 22 Feb 1998, Jack Kilmon wrote:
> fits more with the thesis that Qumran was an Agrarian center
> and the inhabitants may have been cultivists and processors
> of Balsam. This would tie in the En-Gedi site where the Balsam
> plants were cultivated to Qumran, perhaps where it was processed
> and bottled. This makes interesting one of the alternative
> readings of the Ostracon where the proposed "yxd" reading was,
> in fact ln)d..[h] "bottle." If wkmltw is "when he completes"
> perhaps we are missing the ending in the lacuna that would
> suggest "bottling."
One of the assumptions behind this argument may need further
examination, and that is the idea that agrarian functions rule out a
community center. Temples in the ancient world were centers of economic
activity. I recently read an article about the temple of Ptah in Memphus
in the Hellenistic era, which pointed out that the temple had a variety
of economic functions, including metal-working and animal husbandry, so
that the high priest was in effect the manager of a large estate, for
which he was responsible to the king. Being a center of agricultural
production and a religious community are not necessarily mutually exclusive.
David W. Suter
Saint Martin's College
Lacey, WA 98503