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Re: orion-list no fort

> You write
> > Marcus Agrippa, Pliny's source on Essenes, was a [good (so Tacitus)]
> military leader; he
> > recognized that Masada was a fortress and Qumran was not.
> How do we know what Augustus' companion had recognized?
> Dierk
However, for Qumran to be a fort in needs certain items, 
like real fortifications. Now there is a difference between 
a fortified villa and a fortress. (Iraq el-Emir for 
example is a fortified palatial estate) Even Masada is not 
a true fortress as it's primary function is a palatial 
estate for a paranoid king, it guards no pass nor had any 
real military value other than to annoy Romans after they 
eliminated all the real strategic opposition.
  Consider functionality and not some stereotyped global 
view where it has a wall is must be a fort. You even have 
fortified villages, and they are not true forts, 
necessarily. There is no military presence in Qumran until 
the Romans. And towers do stand alone in many areas not for 
fortification but to keep a look out, to get early 
warning signals from closer settlements and forts, and so 
on. This is why forts have towers, but it is not the towers 
that makes it a fort. Glacies, gates that are death traps, 
towers, strategy... such makes a fort a fort. 
   At around this time, as recorded in the Zenon papyrus, 
there were roving bands of raiders in the area that the 
Tobiads raised personal war against. I wonder if Qumran has 
a viewshed to Iraq el-Emir, the Tobiads Palacial estate on 
the other side of the Dead Sea? But at any rate, this 
justifies a need for any settlement to have some defence, 
i.e. a wall and/or tower. But this does not automatically 
equate it as being a fortress. 
  It makes me laugh this debate;)

Brad Harrison
MSc Archeological Computing
U. Southampton

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