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Re: orion Where were "they"?
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David W. Suter wrote:
> 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.
That is not my assumption. Qumran may have been both. It
would also explain why Qumran was "fortress-like." Balsam was extremely
precious and valuable. It was a targeted spoil for Pompey. The Qumran
Essenes *as a community* may have supported themselves in this manner.
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.
I agree. Qumran was more than just a center for a community of
religious sectarians. It was also an industry. I wouldn't be surprised
if those "scriptorium" tables, that are too awkward to sit at
were really used somehow in working with the balsam plants.
Díman dith laych idneh dínishMA nishMA
Jack Kilmon (email@example.com)