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Re: orion The Diverse Cemetery of Qumran
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"How are you able to make these generalizations about the cemetery when
45 (36 by de Vaux and 9 by Steckoll) out of some 1100 or so graves have
excavated?" - Ian Werrett
Clermont-Ganneau excavated 1 tomb.
DeVaux excavated during 1949, 1951, 1953 and 1956:
24 tombs of typical form in the main cemetery,
4 atypically built intrusive tombs (i.e., nos. 4,17,18,19) in main
13 tombs in the peripheral cemeteries.
Stekhol excavated 9 tombs.
These 51 graves produced the skeletal remains of 54 individuals. 36
males, 9 Female, 6 children, 3 undetermined
The tombs in the main cemetery were fairly unform (oval uniform stone
mounds often with a large stone at either end; North-South orientation)
and set in orderly rows. Those of the periferal cemeteries were
noticeably less uniform (as to their stone super structure), with a
mixture of orientations (NS, EW).
DeVaux's choice of graves was not random. He selected tombs over broad
areas of all sections of the cemetery. He also targetted graves which,
according to form or orientation seemed anomalous. Although a thorough
excavation of all tombs would be optimal but this will never happen.
However this is not entirely necessary (even if ground piercing radar
will never be sufficient for the task).
Just think about it, if one were to go into a vegetable field (with a
similar green top for each plant) and he would roam the field pulling up
24 of these plants by the roots and he found that each one was a carrot,
shouldn^Òt he conclude that he was in a carrot patch?
Similarly, if he did the same in a nearby field (which had slightly
different plant tops) and found turnips shouldn^Òt he conclude he was in
a turnip patch?
No aspersion intended toward carrots or turnips. The cemeteries seem to
reflect the very segregations in Essene society described by Josephus.