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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
comfortably,
were really used somehow in working with the balsam plants.

Jack

-- 
Díman dith laych idneh dínishMA nishMA
   Jack Kilmon (jpman@accesscomm.net)    
                                       
                      
 http://scriptorium.accesscomm.net