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orion-list R. Altman and water requirements at Qumran

I am astonished at R. Altman's assertion of water requirements at Qumran: 
32 liters per day per person! I don't have any scientific data on the 
matter, but I have been to Qumran a number of times, at least twice 
spending around 10 hours strenuously hiking around the hills in the blazing 
heat. I certainly did not consume 2 liters per hour as Rochelle urges is an 
absolute necessity. Perhaps a total of a gallon for the day . . . maybe I 
should have drank more, but I can't imagine pumping 2 liters an hour in! 
Many people on this list have spent much time at Qumran, and some must have 
hard scientific data on water requirements in these conditions. Can we get 
a realistic estimate from someone, please?

In any case, let's remember that no one in the debate is arguing for a 
figure of 4000 at Qumran. Estimates of the size of the community that lived 
there range from a few dozen to about 150; 200 is I think the highest 
figure argued by those identifying the settlement at Essene. The water i  
ssue is a red herring for identifying the community as Essene or otherwise. 


Dr. Daniel K. Falk
Assistant Professor of Ancient Judaism and Biblical Studies
Department of Religious Studies
University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403-1294
Office phone: (541) 346-4980
Office fax: (541) 346-4118
email: dfalk@oregon.uoregon.edu

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