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Re: orion-list Pliny Qumran analysis

> 	I suggest you made a peculiar appeal to authority by quoting the
> imperative, "We have to see Qumran as an integral part of the Hasmonean
> plan to settle and fortify the Jordan valley," when Drori and Magen have
> not yet, to my knowledge, published their data. 

I have a real question, Where does this concept of 
fortifying the Jordan Valley, particularly anything south 
of Jericho where the Dead Sea is a barrier to any invading 
party from the east. According to sources like the Zenon 
Papyrus isn't the line of defense for the area classically 
been the Decopolis? From Beit Zur around the Ammanitis to 
the the Citadel of Ammon (poss. Bitra mentioned by Zenon)to 
the Decopolis into the Kinnereth. I unfortunately don't got 
my material handy and I am going by memory.... The 
Maccabees took the Ammanitis (Jewish Trans-Jordan) and 
destroyed the Tobiads (assuming they still controlled the 
area) and took the Decopolis. You may recall a group the 
Maccabees were questioning(that were believe by some be 
Hyrcanus Tobiad's Cleruchy) whom called themselves the men 
of Tobias when Judas was looking for Timothy (a poss. 
Tobiad)in the Trans Jordan. 
   Now unless the Hasmoneans lost this territory, of which 
I must admit have no recollection of, a fortification of 
the Dead sea coast is redundant by two counts, a) it is 
miles away from the main line of defense, and b) no 
invasion force has ever been know to cross the Dead Sea. 
Most invade from the north near Magiddo or South below the 
dead sea (Beit Zur). Is there any source for any desire for 
any reason why the Hasmonean's would want to fortify such an
area as that around Qumran, other than the occasional 
raider. And even that was already being taken care of by 
putting up a few walls installing a cleruchy a century 

Bradley Harrison

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