For a small site, Qumran has generated big debates. For one thing, despite the general scholarly consensus that ties the settlement with the group(s) behind the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Essenes, there remain a number of dissenting voices. But here I want to underscore the benefits of studying Qumran in the wider context of the Graeco-Roman Mediterranean, leaving behind the idyllic, romantic notion of a site thriving in splendid isolation.This essay reframes the archaeological context of the site of Qumran in what looks like a productive way. It is based on a recent scholarly article in Dead Sea Discoveries. (Scroll down to the bottom of the page.)
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