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Qumran

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Location of Jerusalem near the Dead Sea.

Qumran (Arabic: خربة قمران, Khirbet Qumran; Hebrew: חירבת קומראן, Khirbet Qumran) is the name given to the region of the upper Dead Sea and the city ruins, which are best known for being the site where the famous Dead Sea scrolls were found. The scrolls were discovered in a remote cave 13 miles east of Jerusalem between 1947-1956. The first scrolls were discovered by three local shepherds in 1947 who were tossing rocks at cave openings to entertain themselves while they were tending their sheep. The scrolls that had apparently been hidden by the people of Qumran included many books of the Bible and other non-canonical books of religious significance.[1]

Caves at Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls were hidden.

History

Qumran is a ruin from the day of the Second temple.[2] Many Scientists believes that the city of Qumran was built in Iron Age II. And also scientists are guessing the Qumran probably was the site where is known as the Biblical “Ir ha-Melah” the city of salt. During the Jewish War (132-135 AD) Qumran was stormed by Roman soldiers, and the place was controlled by them. Hirbat Qumran the place near the Dead Sea Scrolls was excavated during 1952-1956.[3]

The Ruins of Qumran

Ruins of Qumran

The site of Qumran ruins had been occupied by a several different groups of people. At a low level, walls and pottery were found which would be probably from Iron Age II (8-7th Centuries BC). A deep circular cistern belongs to this period. This was probably the place known as the Biblical "Ir ha-Melah" - City of Salt.

In about 130 BC, new occupants cleared circular cistern, and made two rectangular cisterns, constructed few rooms, and installed two pottery kilns. Two and three story buildings were constructed 30 years later.

This site was stormed and ruined by Romans during Jewish war, and then occupied by a Roman garrison for 20 years. Judea which was also ruled by Romans had a system known as manor house. These manor houses were usually placed where they could be protected and each had an evident fortified tower. The tower, when not used for defense, was used for agricultural storage. This manor house system exactly fit the house of Qumran. Qumran is located on a raised plateau. The square building in the center was called the “main building.” The main building of Qumran was a square house just like other manor houses such as Qasr e-Leja, Aroer and Khirbet el-Muraq. Manor houses are also characterized by their size which again, main building of Qumran also fits. The main building, constructed of large undressed stones, occupied about 37 square meters which is comparable to other manor houses. The main building also had a strong tower in its northwestern corner. [4] Industrial areas were surrounding the main building. For example, a large kiln was recovered at the east of the main building. A wine press lies at south of the main building. West of the main building were workshops which were mostly related to agricultural processing such as baking ovens, plastered vats, shallow pools, kilns, silos for grain storage, grinding stones. [5]

Artifacts

Dead Sea Scrolls presented the scrolls, which were founded from Qumran site, also, lots of artifacts were founded from Qumran site with the scrolls (from May to August 1993). [6] The artifacts from Qumran site showed how people lived, what objects were used to write the scrolls. Because the artifacts show Qumran society and life style of Qumran, they are great evidences to know Qumran more with the scrolls. Lots of the artifacts were founded and they will be presented below:

Picture Gallery

See Also

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References