Qumran: The Site of the Dead Sea Scrolls: Archaeological Interpretations and Debates

Proceedings of a Conference held at Brown University, November 17-19, 2002


Today, archaeology plays an ever growing role in Qumran studies. Fifteen papers presented in 2002 at Brown University provide the necessary data to break new ground in the recent debate about the character of Qumran. Section I discusses material from old and new excavations that help assess the validity of the traditional Qumran-Essene hypothesis. Part II discusses various aspects of the main settlement such as division of space, the character of period III, the date of the cave scroll deposits and the use of food. Part III deals with the Qumran cemetery and a similar graveyard at Khirbet Qazone.
Part IV places Qumran into a wider regional context, concentrating on local agriculture and ceramic production. The articles strongly call for a new awareness for archaeological detail and, in their various ways, instigate a renewed debate about how to bring texts and material culture into a meaningful dialogue.

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Katharina Galor is a Visiting Assistant Professor at the Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World at Brown University. She has excavated in France, Italy and Israel, and has previously taught at Hebrew University and the École biblique et archéologique française in Jerusalem.
Jean-Baptiste Humbert is Director of the Archaeological Division at the École biblique et archéologique française in Jerusalem. He conducted excavations in Israel, Iran, Jordan and Palestine and is in charge of the publication of the Qumran material excavated by de Vaux since 1988.
Jürgen Zangenberg holds a research position for New Testament at the University of Tilburg, Netherlands and teaches New Testament at the University of Frankfurt, Germany. He has excavated in Israel and Jordan.
All those interested in the archaeology of Israel, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the material culture of Second Temple Judaism and the cultural and religious history of the Ancient World.