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orion-list Qumran cemeteries, an important new article

Joseph E. Zias, "The Cemeteries of Qumran and Celebacy: Confusion Laid to 
Rest?" in Dead Sea Discoveries v.7 n.2 (2000)220-55.

	Physical anthropologist Zias has presented new data, observations, and 
arguments which support his finding that the central Qumran cemetery is 

	He argues, among othr things, that some of the female burials outside of 
the cemetery center are modern period Bedouin burials. I find that 
convincing. (And cf. Kh. Abu Tabaq.) For instance, they are aligned 
East-West, not North-South, shallower, with better preserved bones, with 
different teeth wear, and include ankle beads of well-preserved amber 
typical of Bedouin use, all differing from the central burials.

	His critique of the proposal that the cemetery resulted from a battle is 

	There are further textual issues to be discussed concerning women in 
various Qumran mss and what Josephus called those Essenes who married (here 
I would differ with the article somewhat). There are still questions about 
the--reportedly later--North-South burials in the Lisan, later reported 
Mandaean practice, and so on.

	In any case, I think Joe Zias has made a very significant contribution 
with this article.

Stephen Goranson
Durham NC

For private reply, e-mail to goranson@duke.edu
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