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.
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