15/12/2005

Qumran cliff

 

Although it has been largely conceded that the Scrolls in the 11 caves are related to the site at Qumran, and are therefore the contents of a sectarian library, there are those who believe this conclusion is unwarranted. No Scrolls were found at the building site of Qumran itself. Two or possibly three inkwells were recovered from there, and this does not seem sufficient evidence to conclude Qumran functioned as a Scriptorium, where texts were copied or composed. Other archeological remains, such as a large pile of clay dishes, suggest a refectory. Some scholars have questioned whether Qumran actually is the place referred to by Pliny the Elder when he said that the group lived "below Ein Gedi," the oasis known for its date palms. There is also the question of the library's contents: its size and variety point to a major library, such as that belonging to the Temple in Jerusalem. On the other hand, perhaps the Scrolls came from all over Judea in a desperate effort to protect the holy writ from desecration by the invading Romans.

 

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