BAR 37:05, Sep/Oct 2011
Moving About at Qumran
A recent study1 has sought to determine by sophisticated new methods whether Qumran was home to a religious community (as Sidnie White Crawford argues in the accompanying article based on her study of the 11 scroll caves and their comparative contents) or whether it was something else—a fortress, a villa, a caravanserai or a pottery factory.
The new study by Eyal Regev of Bar-Ilan University examines the architectural plan of Qumran and applies so-called “access analysis” to map the site’s spatial organization in order to uncover the social ideology of Qumran’s inhabitants.
Regev characterizes this approach as social archaeology, “now an established field of research which uses archaeological records to reconstruct the belief system and social organization of past societies.”