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Re: orion-list Cimetiere de Qumran

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Legrand-Zwilling wrote:
> 3) Quel est le nombre exact de femmes et d'enfants retrouvés dans le
> cimetière? Peut-on savoir leur âge ?
James VanderKam, The Dead Sea Scrolls Today (Eerdmans, 1994), p.15:
"De Vaux excavated only twenty-six of these tombs [of the large main
cemetery with approx. 1000 or 1100 tombs], selected from different parts
of the main cemetery. All the skeletons identifiable by gender and found
in the neat, ordered parts of the cemetery were male. One unusual grave,
set apart from the others, contained a female skeleton. In the
extensions of the cemetery farther to the east, however, the six tombs
investigated yielded four female skeletons and one of a child. De Vaux
also studied what he called two secondary cemeteries, one north of the
site and the other south of Wadi Qumran. In the northerly one just two
tombs were opened; they held a male and a female skeleton. In the
souther cemetery, the four graves that were investigated provided the
final resting place for one woman and three children."

Hartmut Stegemann concludes: "Vermutlich wurden auf dem Hauptfriedhof
vor allem in Qumran verstorbene Vollmitglieder der Essener beigesetzt,
auf den Nebenfriedhöfen solche, die die Vollmitgliedschaft noch nicht
erreicht hatten, außerdem Frauen, Kinder und Fremde, die in dieser
Gegend vom Todesschicksal überrascht wurden." (Hartmut Stegemann, Die
Essener, Qumran, Johannes der Täufer und Jesus" (Herder, 4. aufl., 1994)

Stegemann assumes that half of the about 200 graves in the 'secondary
cemetries' contains skelettons of "Männer ... die noch nicht
Vollmitglieder waren" (p.72), and the other half contains skelettons of
women, children and strangers.

About the age, Stegemann writes: "die auf dem Friedhof Bestatteten
[sind] meist nur 25-35, im Durchschnitt etwa 30 Jahre alt geworden, wie
es sich bei der Untersuchung der Skelette herausgestellt hat" (p.71).

See also Magen Broshi, "The Archeology of Qumran", in: D. Dimant and U.
Rappaport, The Dead Sea Scrolls: Forty Years of Research (Brill e.a.,
1992) p.112 for some interesting remarks.


Marco Rotman

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