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Contextualization of the Archaeology of Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls - Essay Example

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In the aftermath of de Vaux’s excavations in the 1950’s up until the mid 1980’s, it has been commonly assumed that the Dead Sea Scrolls discovered in the nearby caves constituted the library of a Jewish sectarian community (most probably of the Essene sect that lived at Qumran)…
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Contextualization of the Archaeology of Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls
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Download file to see previous pages In the aftermath of de Vaux’s excavations in the 1950’s up until the mid 1980’s, it has been commonly assumed that the Dead Sea Scrolls discovered in the nearby caves constituted the library of a Jewish sectarian community (most probably of the Essene sect that lived at Qumran). However, despite such apparent consensus, we ought not to narrowly focus our interpretation of the Scrolls, its authors (for which most scholars seem to agree are the Essenes) and the Qumran site itself when it comes to a proper analysis of contextualizing all three. In light of recent scholarship, the traditional sectarian explanation of Qumran combined with a more nuanced approach may possibly reveal that the site had at least a dual purpose beyond that of a certain sectarian settlement and more specifically was a place for the development of communal activities, including the production or manufacture of pottery. Moreover, could it have been possible that the Essenes employed non-Essenes to do certain functions? To be certain, it has long been argued since de Vaux’s excavation reports, that when placed in a proper historical and archaeological context, the caves, the scrolls and the ruins are altogether interconnected.To shed some historical perspective, according to Davies, Brooke and Callaway, the basis for this interconnectivity was originally the texts themselves found in Cave 1 and their later interpretation by de Vaux’s team of excavators, the members of the Cave 4 editorial team and most other scholars ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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