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orion-list Sennacherib Destruction Layer at Qumran



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Dear list,

    I wanted to clarify my perhaps cryptic recent reference (in a posting to 
Marcus Wood) to "Sennacherib's southern against the Negev as documented by 
the pottery with lamelek seal impressions found in ash layers in Dead Sea 
area fortifications."  
    Along the northwest coast of the Dead Sea there are destruction layers 
associated with Sennacherib's campaign at the contemporary sites of En-Gedi, 
Qumran, and the fortresses in the Buqu'ah valley.  See R. De Vaux, 
Archaeology and the Dead Sea Scrolls (Oxford, 1959) 1-2, on lmlk handles in 
ash at Qumran; F. M. Cross and J. T. Milik, "Explorations in the Jordan 
Buq'ah", BASOR 142 (April, 1956) 7-13, 16 note 27 on ash layers at Khirbet 
Abu Tabaq, Khirbet Es-Samrah, and Khirbet el-Maqari in the Judean Buqu'ah 
valley contemporary to those at Qumran (note especially p. 11 on the lmlk 
handle at Es-Samrah); G. Barkay: "The King of Babylonia or a Judaean 
Official?", IEJ 45 (1995) 43-46 on the lmlk-class handle with solar disk seal 
impression at En-Gedi in association with ash, and his conclusion, 46, that 
"En-Gedi was destroyed during Sennacherib's raid of Judah in 701 B.C.E."  
     The destruction layer at some of these sites was originally dated to 6th 
century (i.e. Nebuchadnezzar) or 7th century B.C.E. prior to the definitive 
demonstration of the association of lmlk handles with Hezekiah and with 
Sennacherib's 701 campaign by D. Ussishkin, "The Destruction of Lachish by 
Sennacherib and the Dating of the Royal Judean Storage Jars", Tel Aviv 5 
(1978) 54-67 and N. Na'aman, "Sennacherib's Campaign to Judah and the Date of 
the LMLK Stamps", VT 39 (1989) 61-86.  
    I'm not sure whether the scrolls field as a whole has recognized the 
shift in date for this earlier destruction at Qumran and related sites.  My 
apologies if this posting is a little off topic.

    Russell Gmirkin
For private reply, e-mail to RGmyrken@aol.com
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