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The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea$
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Joan E. Taylor

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199554485

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199554485.001.0001

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Essenes beside the Dead Sea: Qumran

Essenes beside the Dead Sea: Qumran

(p.244) 10 Essenes beside the Dead Sea: Qumran
The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea

Joan E. Taylor

Oxford University Press

The archaeology of Qumran coheres with the general history established by literary evidence. Established by Alexander Jannaeus as a way-station, the site was developed by Herod the Great after 31 bce. This development is linked with the building of a villa at Ein Feshkha, in a valuable oasis with natural spring-fed pools. Qumran and Ein Feshkha may be seen together as Essenes establishments, in land gifted to the Essenes for their use within royal lands. The settlements continued, despite a Roman attack in 68 ce, and were occupied until c.115 ce, when an earthquake wrecked particular damage on the marl plateau on which Qumran was located. The buildings might yet have been occupied for transient encampment until 135 ce, the definitive date after which no further Jewish settlement is evidenced.

Keywords:   Essenes, Alexander Jannaeus, archaeology of Qumran, Ein Feshkha, Herod the Great, earthquake, Second Revolt

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