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RE: orion-list replies

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> -----Original Message-----
> From: Paul Sodtke [mailto:psodtke@sympatico.ca]
> Sent: Friday, December 15, 2000 9:16 AM
> To: orion@mscc.huji.ac.il
> Subject: Re: orion-list replies
> Mostly I'm a lurker on this list since this is not my area of 
> specialty,
> but on comment of Joe Zias prompts me to raise a question. He 
> wrote in part:
> >3. Believe me I had no agenda and could care less in the 
> beginning if it
> >were male, female or whatever. The data fit the Essene 
> hypothesis which
> >incidentally seems to be accepted by all of those 
> individuals publishing
> >the scrolls. The nay sayer's aside from one (Hirschfield) 
> are or appear
> >to be a small minority and what ties them all together is 
> the fact that
> >they are not dirt archaeologists. I may be wrong but this is the
> >impression that I have and it's understandable why they fail to
> >understand the issue at hand.
> This seems to me an unfair comment. Isn't the identification 
> of Qumran as
> Essene based on textual evidence (Pliny etc.) rather than 
> archaeological
> data? In fact, the individiuals publishing the scrolls who reportedly
> accept the Essene hypothesis -- surely they are specialists 
> in the text,
> not in the archaeology? So, it could just as easily be said 
> that the vast
> majority of *supporters* of the Essen hypothesis "are not dirt
> archaeologists."
> I have no opinion about the cemeteries -- I have no 
> competence to evaluate
> this type of evidence -- but the above quoted paragraph seems clearly
> biased to me.

Thanks, Paul, for your comment.  I think that you've put your finger on a
fundamental methodological problem.  The gap between textually based
scholars and "dirt" archaeologists shows up elsewhere, and I've seen as much
naive citation of textually based materials by archaeologists as I have of
archaeological results by textually based scholars.  The comment is not
meant to identify any particular item in the current discussion but merely
to suggest that we have two interdependent fields of study in which each
side tends to want to trump the other with issues of expertise.  The way
forward is through dialog and cooperation in investigation.

David Suter
Saint Martin's College 
For private reply, e-mail to "Suter, David" <dsuter@stmartin.edu>
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