Coordinates: 31°44 N 35°27 E Qumran - - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia... · Qumran - Wikipedia,

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3/18/16, 7:44 AMQumran - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Caves at Qumran

QumranFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Qumran (Hebrew: ; Arabic: Khirbet Qumran) is an archaeological site in theWest Bank managed by Israel's Qumran National Park.[1] It is located on a dry plateau about amile from the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea, near the Israeli settlement and kibbutz ofKalya. The Hellenistic period settlement was constructed during the reign of John Hyrcanus,134-104 BCE or somewhat later, and was occupied most of the time until it was destroyed by theRomans in 68 CE or shortly after. It is best known as the settlement nearest to the Qumran Caveswhere the Dead Sea Scrolls were hidden, caves in the sheer desert cliffs and beneath, in the marlterrace. The principal excavations at Qumran were conducted by Roland de Vaux in the 1950s,though several later campaigns at the site have been carried out.


1 History2 Discovery and excavation

2.1 Early site analysis

2.2 Major excavations

2.3 De Vaux's interpretations

2.4 Further excavations and surveys3 Recent archaeological analysis

3.1 Pottery

3.2 Cisterns

Coordinates: 3144!27"N 3527!31"E

3/18/16, 7:44 AMQumran - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Shown within Israel

Location Kalya, West Bank

Region Israel

Coordinates 3144!27"N 3527!31"E

Type Settlement


Founded Between 134-104 BCE or slightlylater

Abandoned 68 CE or shortly after

Periods Hellenistic to Roman Empire

3.3 Numismatic studies

3.3.1 The bronze coinage3.3.2 The silver coinage Lnnqvist analysis of 2007

3.4 Population at Qumran4 Qumran-Essene hypothesis

4.1 Qumran as fortress

4.2 Qumran as villa

4.3 Qumran as commercial center

4.4 Qumran as part of the Jordan valley

4.5 Other issues

5 Archaeological site

6 References

7 Bibliography8 External links

8.1 Scholarly articles on the site of Qumran

8.2 Other links relevant to the site of Qumran


3/18/16, 7:44 AMQumran - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Location of Qumran

Since the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947-1956, extensive excavations have taken place in Qumran.Nearly 900 scrolls were discovered. Most were written on parchment and some on papyrus. Cisterns, Jewish ritualbaths, and cemeteries have been found, along with a dining or assembly room and debris from an upper storyalleged by some to have been a scriptorium as well as pottery kilns and a tower.

Many scholars believe the location was home to a Jewish sect, probably the Essenes. But, according to LawrenceSchiffman, the rules of the community, its heavy stress on priesthood and the Zadokite legacy, and other detailsindicate a Sadducean-oriented sect either distinct from or one of the various Essene groupings.[2] Others proposenon-sectarian interpretations, some of these starting with the notion that it was a Hasmonean fort that was latertransformed into a villa for a wealthy family, or a production center, perhaps a pottery factory or somethingsimilar.

A large cemetery was discovered to the east of the site. While most of the graves contain the remains of males,some females were also discovered, though some burials may be from medieval times. Only a small portion of thegraves were excavated, as excavating cemeteries is forbidden under Jewish law. Over a thousand bodies are buriedat Qumran cemetery.[3] One theory is that bodies were those of generations of sectarians, while another is that theywere brought to Qumran because burial was easier there than in rockier surrounding areas.[4]

The scrolls were found in a series of eleven caves around the settlement, some accessible only through thesettlement. Some scholars have claimed that the caves were the permanent libraries of the sect, due to the presenceof the remains of a shelving system. Other scholars believe that some caves also served as domestic shelters forthose living in the area. Many of the texts found in the caves appear to represent widely accepted Jewish beliefsand practices, while other texts appear to speak of divergent, unique, or minority interpretations and practices.Some scholars believe that some of these texts describe the beliefs of the inhabitants of Qumran, who may havebeen Essenes, or the asylum for supporters of the traditional priestly family of the Zadokites against theHasmonean priest/kings. A literary epistle published in the 1990s expresses reasons for creating a community,some of which resemble Sadducean arguments in the Talmud.[5] Most of the scrolls seem to have been hidden inthe caves during the turmoil of the First Jewish Revolt, though some of them may have been deposited earlier.

Discovery and excavation

3/18/16, 7:44 AMQumran - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Caves of Qumran

Early site analysis

The site of Khirbet Qumran had been known to European explorers since the 19th century.[6] The initialattention of the early explorers was focused on the cemetery, beginning with de Saulcy in 1851. In fact, thefirst excavations at Qumran (prior to the development of modern methodology) were of burials in thecemetery, conducted by Henry Poole in 1855 followed by Charles Clermont-Ganneau in 1873.[7]

Rev. Albert Isaacs, British counsel James Finn, and photographer James Graham visited Qumran inDecember 185