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Re: SV: SV: orion Qumran habitation dates

In a message dated 98-04-03 09:28:56 EST, you write:

Greg Doudna wrote:

<< Robert Leonard comments that the quantity of coins--110 from the
 procurators, 83 from Agrippa I--is too many to account for from 60's CE
 people alone and justifies a conclusion of continuous 1st CE habitation
 at Qumran.  I appreciate the comment and the point (and maybe its
 right), but how secure is this point and this argument?  On the one
 hand, might this coin distribution be accounted for by rehabitation
 starting at the time of Agrippa I (and not earlier)?  On the other hand,
 can it be excluded that these coins came from 60's CE people using
 Agrippa I coins and procurator coins along with contemporary Nero-era
 and Jewish Revolt coins?  Is there comparative data to back up the
 statement of "too many"?   >>

Please excuse this slow response; I was on an extended trip when this query
was posted.  Generally speaking, it would appear that coins on the prutah
denomination remained in circulation for 25-30 years or so at this time.  A
hoard of 139 prutot found in an oil lamp concealed in a wall in En-Gedi in
1965 contained 92 coins of the procurators under Claudius and Nero (54-59
C.E.) and 47 coins of Agrippa I (42/3 C.E.), with none earlier, and must have
been concealed prior to the Jewish-Roman War issues of Year 2, 67/8.  A coin
of Year 2 is known overstruck on a coin of Agrippa I (Meshorer 1967, 153A),
indicating that Agrippa I coins still circulated then, and similarly Agrippa I
coins of 42/3 are known overstruck on procuratorial coins dated to 16-17 C.E.
(Meshorer, AJC 11i and 11j).  A curious exception is the Jordania hoard (cited
as Fred Jacobs, Israel Numismatic Bulletin, 1, 1962, p. 106 in Mayer, but as
Israel Numismatic Journal, 1962, p. 106 by Kadman; both journals were
published in 1962, and unfortunately I cannot locate a copy of either to
resolve this).  According to Kadman, "The Monetary Development in Palestine
According to Coin-Hoards," 1963 (Proceedings of the International Numismatic
Convention, 1967), this "hoard" included coins from the Seleucids through Year
2 of the Jewish War.  This range is so atypical that I assume that this is not
a true hoard.

Mr. Doudna questions whether the coin distribution found could be accounted
for assuming a hiatus of occupation at Qumran from Herod I to Agrippa I.  In
my opinion, this is very unlikely.  If such a hiatus occurred, it would be
similar to the pattern at Masada.  As I pointed out in the December 1997
Qumran Chronicle, at Masada 48% of the coins were from the Jewish-Roman War
and another 3.8% from the last procuratorial issues--more than half of all
bronze coins found.  At Qumran, 13.7% are from the Jewish War, 12.2% of
Agrippa I, and 16.2% from the procurators.  In other words, just about what
would be expected if Qumran were continuously occupied and coin losses
occurred in proportion to the number in circulation.

Best regards,
Robert Leonard
Winnetka, Illinois