[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: orion The Diverse Cemetery of Qumran

At 08:32 PM 5/26/98 +0200, you wrote:
>The issue over the cemeteries needs to be clarified.
>As I pointed out in my paper at the FALL ASOR MEETING (this should be in
>print soon), the cemetery at Qumran had been carefully segregated into
>two sections, representing different settlements: 
>1) The main cemetery: exclusively a male CELEBATE group (from the
>2) The peripheral cemeteries lie on five lower but adjacent hillocks:
>containing FAMILIES of men, women and children. (from camps of married
>Essenes). Unlike those typical graves of the main cemetery (there were 4
>atypical, intrusive round or rectangular ones), some of the corpses of
>the peripheral hillocks were carried and buried in coffins. (showing
>that they had to be carried a distance).
>Both forms of society, celibate and married, existed among this
>community according to the ancient sources (Josephus etc). This also can
>be inferred by the separate rules found in the scrolls themselves (1QS
>and CD).
>Why the diversity in the cemetery of Qumran?
>The Temple Scroll states that every cemetery was to contain the dead
>from four settlements.
>"For you shall set apart places within your land (in) which you shall
>bury your dead; between four cities you shall allot a place to bury
>them." 1QTa XLVIII 12-14
>The Qumran cemetery (as all others) by law (if the Temple Scroll should
>be taken seriously) needed to include the deceased from three other
>settlements. Some were likely a longer distance away than others.
>Therefore the query concerning the wooden coffins may be quite simple to
>- The celibates of Qumran needed no coffin for the distance they were
>- Some of the married folk needed to be carried from a more distant camp
>to be interred at Qumran.
>I hope this is helpful,
>Stephen Pfann
Dear Dr. Pfann:

Please excuse a dumb question:  how do we know they were CELIBATE?  Sexual
activity leaves no obvious mark on the male body that I know of.