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Re: orion-list Facts Do Matter! Zias agrees!

Dear colleagues

Shalom, looks as this list has become a battlefield over 1200 dead men
and a handful of Bedouin women and children.

Rather than engage in  polemics let me state a few facts regarding the
latest posting by Zangenberg.  Other than having the dubious distinction
of sharing the same initials, I have the feeling that due to our
differing academic backgrounds, that he, like many of the nay sayers may
miss the picture entirely. It's not surprising that he, being a NT
scholar cannot understand some of the most basic concepts and principles
of archaeology and burial anthropology. For this I do not fault him nor
did I choose to.  In fact, this may be some of the reasons that some of
the material coming out of the "German school' could not pass peer
review and was published in non peer reviewed journals. I avoid those
areas in which I have no expertise whereas it seems that Qumran studies
is sort of a free for all in which anyone can have their say. This may
be the reason why, according to a recent article by Magen Broshi that of
the estimated 12,000 scholarly publications not one writer has the
courage to say " I have been wrong".  Too much ego at stake here and not
enough jobs to go around as well as the 'agendas' which Goranson spoke
about yesterday. With that said, let me be the first to state that I was
wrong on beads not being found in Jewish burials. They were found in Ein
Gedi according to the excavator (G. Haas) who excavated approx. 200
Jewish graves there. Having run into him in the University library today
quite by chance I then showed him a photo of the beads from Qumran,
which he immediately recognized as Bedouin beads, particularly since
they were around the feet of the women. This friends is the difference
between a field archaeologist/anthropologist and a textual person and
should be a lesson in Qumran studies, unfortunately it probably will
not. It also should show why some of these issues could have been solved
decades ago, however institutes, including my own, decided to withhold
archaeological info. from the public. Had the beads around the feet of
the women in the burials been published years ago, colleagues would have
noticed that something was amiss in the chronology of the cemetery. A
case in point occurred a few months back when I took a colleague from
England, a MD who also does burial archaeology to the cemetery.  Upon
seeing the evidence, he said within seconds, the east west burials are
either Christian or Moslem, have to open them up.  It's not rocket

As for the unpublished manuscript which was circulating two years ago
for peer review, I never bothered to read it as it was in German however
I was told about the c-14 dates which I then asked for confirmation and
was given, but was asked not to publish it. I honored their request and
let the anthro. evidence stands for itself.  One needn't have C-14 dated
these burials as the osteoarchaeological data speak loud and clear for
themselves. As for their dates, Q-29 440 BP, Q-34 210 BP, QS o1 285  all
with a margin of error of 55 years, hard to believe that this material
from the 16th-18th century was packing material.

Perhaps the most 'interesting' fact derived from Zangenberg's posting is
where he attacks me for having the chutzpah for mentioning that
Rohrer-Ertl resexed some of the material. His posting is as follows and
I quote "this statement frankly blows my mind! I leave it to colleagues
in physical anthropology to assess Joe's methodology and the value of
this statement. Again, dear readers, compare the charts provided in
Rohrer-Ertl's first article to see for yourself the exact
identifications of Vallois and Kurth actually were and where Rohrer-Ertl
changed them.  There is nothing more rewarding than the original. Joe,
Any  possibility that at you might be wrong in your measurements that
took just a few days, instead of Rohrer-Ertl who has worked on the bones
for years? I really admire your chutzpah!

Knowing that none of you are fact checkers nor have the time or the
inclination to check out his allegation I have done it for you.  I took
the challenge and dutifully followed Zagenbergs directions above and
realized the following : on the chart entitled Katalog der Graberfelder
von Khirbet Qumran, line 27 down is the following
Q-22 (Prof. Kurth) has it  as maskulin and a few colums over 'he'
changes gender and now becomes feminin, now go down a few more lines to
Q 24-II  and again Kurth has it as male whereas a few columns over 'he'
is resexed as female. The author of this report is none other than
Rohrer-Ertl !!!

Q-37 interesting enough was listed as female by Kurth on the chart by
prepared by Rohrer-Ertl whereas Benenet-Elder, Taylor and I list it as
male. Unfort. the specimen is missing from the collection.

As for Zangenbergs remarks that his colleague Rohrer-Ertl, whom I
thanked and complimented in my article for his dedication to preserving
this collection, spent years working up the material ( a bit of an
exaggeration) and I only spent a few days,   betrays his knowledge of
anything to do with physical anthropology. The reason why one publishes
measurements is for other scholars to draw their own facts, some
anthropological measurements are so telling when it comes to sexing that
one needn't see the material, after all,  one doesn't need a 'weatherman
to tell which way the wind is blowing'  Such is the Way of  Science.


Joe Zias
Science and Archaeology Group @ The Hebrew University

For private reply, e-mail to Joe Zias <zias@inter.net.il>
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