This book proposes a new occupation model for the remains of Khirbet Qumran, the site associated with the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Using the latest in virtual reality technology, the author reconstructs the site of Qumran and demonstrates that the site was initially built as a Hasmonean fortress, and was later expanded into a residence for a self-sufficient community responsible for the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Black with Color Inserts
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The settlement of Khirbet Qumran has been at the center of archaeological debate since the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Recent publications have questioned Roland de Vaux’s initial conclusion that the Essenes built Qumran and there composed the Dead Sea Scrolls. This book examines the history of interpretation of the settlement at Qumran and introduces a new digital methodology that employs virtual reality to analyze the remains. The book concludes that after an initial Iron Age occupation, the site of Qumran was established as a Hasmonean fortress, abandoned, and later reoccupied by a small religious community that expanded the site in a communal, non-military manner. This group was ultimately responsible for some of the Dead Sea Scrolls discovered in the nearby caves.
Robert R. Cargill is an archaeologist and biblical scholar at UCLA, where he serves as the Instructional Technology Coordinator for the Center for Digital Humanities. He is also the Chief Architect and Designer of the Qumran Visualization Project, a 3D, real-time, virtual reconstruction of the site of Khirbet Qumran. His research focuses on Northwest Semitic languages and Near Eastern archaeology of the Second Temple Period.