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Re: orion-list Bones, Beads and Battlefields

Dear Colleagues,

one last word (from my side) about the beads. We seem to agree on the issue 
that the presence of beads as such does not necessarily make the "Bedouin" 
graves really Bedouin. Now we are going into statistics: how many beads per 
grave etc. I don't think this will lead us anywhere, for such mathematics 
only make sense if you isolate the south eastern part of the cemetery 
BEFORE you count the beads per grave (not to forget the basic problems of 
any statistics in Qumran). If you don't isolate the SE part, the statistics 
for Qumran do not seem to be so much beyond of the "normal" parameters: a 
very small number of beads per grave also in Qumran like in Jericho. - I 
think Joe is getting into a circular argument!

Regarding bead chronology: From what I have understood from experts of 
ancient Jewelry, there is no way to differentiate glass from stone or 
faience beads chronologically in the greco-roman period, see B.Sass, 
Jewelry, OEANE 3 (1997), 238-246. I can't see any such connection between 
bead typology and bead chronology here as Joe does.

And then grave typology: Joe is further pointing to the fact that "one is 
buried but 40cms. below the surface whereas most of the male burials are 
1.5 - 2.0 meters below the surface". I think the question who was buried in 
which grave is irrelevant to the question how this grave looked like (with 
or without side niche, what depth or orientation): there is no pattern 
recognisable to me in this respect. While it is true that *one* grave in 
the SE section is only 40cm deep, others in this section are deeper, and 
(what is more important) by no means all of the graves in the main cemetery 
are necessarily 1.5 to 2m deep, cf the interesting drawings of Grave 7 or 
the "Stone Circle" in Humbert-Chambon which in fact might have been a grave 
excavated/robbed before deVaux.

I think that there was no norm how deep these graves have to be (not even 
if they have to have a side niche or not!), but a variation within a 
certain range. Joe says this typological difference is sufficient to 
disassociate these graves from the rest *chronologically* - I say that it 
is a notable difference which, however, does not have any chronological 
meaning. Just to show you a different example of that variation: We have 
the same variation in the field of orientation, too, cf. the almost equal 
number of NS and EW oriented graves in Beit Safafa. No one would dispute 
the Jewish identity of the EW graves at Beit Safafa just because they show 
a different orientation.

The topic of "variation within certain ranges" brings us to a -to me- much 
more interesting, methodological issue, about which I am just working now: 
As long as we have our typological research of this grave type restricted 
to Qumran, we will not make any progress in answering the question what 
typological differences actually bear out in terms of chronology or (even 
more difficult) religious affiliation. This is what I have learnt from 
reading a lot of theoretical archaeological literature about burial 
analysis in Europe: Typology as such is not = chronology. And I think such 
an approach also makes sense here. So far, we are at a deadlock and 
probably will remain until new material is coming up -or until we change 
our so very much restricted way of seeing Qumran. This site was not 
isolated, not even regarding its burials, and today we should not isolate 
it either.

Lastly, I still think it is unlikely, yes impossible that Bedouin would 
have buried family members so close to graves that were so easily 
recognizable as non-Muslim (North-South orientation!).

Enough from me for a while, the holidays are approaching and other work is 
waiting for me...

Kind regards to everyone,


For private reply, e-mail to Jurgen Zangenberg <jurgen.zangenberg@yale.edu>
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