From Academic Kids

Qumran (Khirbet Qumran) is located on a dry plateau on the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea in Israel. It is best known as the nearest centre to the hiding place of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

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Caves at Qumran

Since the discovery of the scrolls, extensive excavations have been done. Jewish ritual baths and cemeteries have been found, a large cistern, a large dining or assembly room, an alleged scriptorium, and a guard tower. The site was constructed sometime between 150 and 130 BC. Most scholars believe it was home to a Jewish sect, most often said to be the Essenes; others have proposed that it was a villa for a single wealthy family, or even that it was a Roman fort.

The large cemetery could contain some answers, if women are buried there in great numbers. It would tell what the sect is like and who lived there, but under Jewish law excavating cemeteries is forbidden.

The scrolls were found in a series of caves just to the west of the community. Some of the caves seem to have been permanent libraries with built in shelves. Most of the scrolls seem to have been dumped in the caves during the turmoil of the First Jewish Revolt.

At that time Jericho and Jerusalem had been sacked, but Qumran was still standing. Ancient Israelites thus hid hundreds of parchment scrolls in the caves of the sheer desert cliffs near Qumran. The texts represent the beliefs and practices of many different Jewish sects. Many of them were selected for the library there, when Qumran became the asylum for supporters of the traditional priestly family of the Zadokites against the Hasmonean priest/kings. A letter found in the 1990s expresses their reasons for creating the community, some of which mirror Sadducean arguments in the Talmud. New Information claims Qumran was a pottery factory. [1] ( Schiffman, Lawrence, “Origin and Early History of the Qumran Sect” Biblical Archaeology. Volume 58 Number 1, March 1995.

Qumran is also a fictional country in the British sitcom, Yes, Minister. It is located in the Middle East but that's all that is revealed.

External link

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