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Re: SV: orion Qumran habitation dates
Thanks for your partial response to my (29 March) questions; this clarifies
your views to some extent, but leaves me with some questions. Here are some
of them, in case any are worth your pursuing:
1) Though you wrote (if I understand correctly) about what time
periods you consider as lacking evidence for habitation at Qumran, you did
not specify what evidence led you to accept habitation at Qumran during the
time of Alexander Jannaeus and during part of the 60s CE. Another way of
stating this question: what Qumran dating evidence do you accept?
2) Your 23 March post began as a response on Cave 4 discussion. You
wrote about the habitation of Qumran and the use and/or habitation of the
cave. I was not certain, when you wrote about "opportunities" for scroll
deposit, whether you meant that we should assume that scrolls were
deposited during a time when Qumran was not inhabited. If you associate
scroll deposit (in cave 4, at least) only with non-habitation of Qumran,
can you explain why? In other words, if that is your conclusion, by what
evidence do you reach that conclusion? My impression was that one of your
assumptions here was that Qumran site habitation and cave 4 "habitation"
(not synonymous with "use"?) are identical in date ranges. That impression
may be mistaken, but, if accurate, raises the question of evidence for
dating cave 4 "habitation." In any case, why--if you do--do you exclude
scroll deposit by the then-current Qumran inhabitants?
3) You proposed that Cave 4 scrolls were originally "dumped" "on
the floor" of Cave 4. Does this proposal accord with the proposal that
scrolls were brought from Jerusalem for safekeeping?
4) Do you propose that the material evidence (e.g., pottery,
graves, etc.--excluding Iron Age and Roman Army c. 68 or 70 CE or so and
following) all fits within the Alexander Jannaeus and 60s CE time periods?
In response to the 1 April post by Greg Doudna [the question below by SG]:
>>On 23 March, after discussing Cave 4, Gregory Doudna wrote:
>>>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, would you like to write about how you reached this conclusion on
>I see no evidence in the published record which establishes or
>corroborates habitation at Qumran between the time of Alexander Jannaeus
>and 8 BCE, and again from 8 BCE to 60's CE. I am not saying there was
>not--only that this is in the realm of guessing--conjectures and
>hunches--in these time periods. I would welcome any way that can be set
>forth which would improve the state of knowledge and convert some of
>this guessing into some basis for assuming knowledge.
>>(I may be mistaken, but, to the best of my knowledge, the text above
>>differs from all published archaeological reports on Qumran, as well as
>Correct. I think they're wrong in claiming knowledge of habitation in
>periods for which there is not evidence in the published archaeological
>record so far as I can see to justify those claims.
>>Also, just to clarify: are you saying that
>>Qumran was inhabited in 8 BCE but not necessarily in 9 or 7 BCE?
>Yes--at least someone [.....]