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SV: orion Cave 4 again

>From D. Washburn:
>"While re-reading Schiffman, "Reclaiming the Dead Sea Scrolls" (so far 
>an exercise in frustration), I once again came across the "standard 
>theory" that the holes in the walls of cave 4 were used to hold 
>shelves on which the scrolls rested.  Over time, so the story goes, "

This theory of the shelves holding scrolls . . . I looked at those holes
last July in Cave 4 and they do look like they were made intentionally,
perhaps to hold shelves (or poles to hang things, whatever).  But why on
earth assume there is any connection to scrolls in this?  It is
well-known that these caves next to the site were inhabited, and that is
a much better context in which to interpret shelves or rods in one of
these caves.  No other caves with scrolls have "shelves", and there is
no evidence these caves were used as local libraries (when the site of
Qumran itself would be so much more convenient).  I also doubted that
600 scrolls would physically fit on the one or two wooden planks that
would be compatible with those holes.  Looks to me like someone dumped a
large quantity of scrolls in that cave, on the floor, during a time when
it was not inhabited, i.e. during a time when the site was abandoned.
Since there is no evidence from archaeology confirming habitation
between the time of Alexander Jannaeus and 8 BCE, and again between 8
BCE and 60's CE (although there might have been people at Qumran at
other times within these periods--but present information does not
permit claims of knowledge of such habitation), this allows plenty of
opportunities for the date and event of the scrolls deposit.

Greg Doudna