Pinsteps. Starting your visit in Qumran
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Qumran is a historical site known for being the location of the Qumran Caves, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. The site was initially built during the Hellenistic period and was inhabited by a Jewish community during the late Second Temple period, believed to be the Essenes. Qumran was occupied until the Romans destroyed it during the First Jewish-Roman War, around 68-73 CE. Jewish rebels later used it during the Bar Kokhba Revolt.

The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947-1956 led to extensive excavations at the site of Qumran. Nearly 900 scrolls were found, primarily written on parchment and some on papyrus. The excavations revealed Jewish ritual baths, cisterns, and cemeteries, as well as a dining or assembly room and debris from an upper story that may have been a scriptorium. Some scholars believe Qumran was home to a Jewish sect, possibly the Essenes, while others propose it was a Hasmonean fort or a production centre.

A large cemetery was found to the east of Qumran, containing the remains of both males and females. However, only a tiny portion of the graves was excavated. There are theories that the bodies buried at the cemetery were either those of sect members (men) or brought to Qumran for easier burial (women).

The Dead Sea Scrolls were found in 11 caves near the settlement, some of which could only be accessed through the site. Some scholars believe the caves served as the permanent libraries of the sect. The texts found in the caves reflect a mix of widely accepted Jewish beliefs and practices, as well as unique or minority interpretations and practices. Most scrolls were likely hidden in the caves during the First Jewish-Roman War, although some may have been deposited earlier.

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Evgeny Praisman
St. George's Monastery and Qumran of Feb 21, 2023

A one spring day trip to St. George's Monastery in Wadi Qelt and the Qumran archaeological site offers a unique glimpse into the religious, mystic, and spiritual traditions of the northern part of the Dead Sea. The journey starts with a visit to St. George's Monastery in Wadi Qelt. This historic monastery is located in a remote desert canyon and was established by early Christian monks who sought solitude and asceticism. Visitors can see the remains of the monastic complex, including the church, cells, and cisterns. The peaceful atmosphere of the monastery and its surrounding landscape contrasts the bustling modern world and offers a glimpse into the early practices of monks in the region.

After visiting the monastery, the trip continues to the Last Chance eatery at the Almog intersection for a delicious meal. This is an excellent opportunity to take a break and refuel before continuing to the Qumran archaeological site.

Located near the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea, the Qumran site was inhabited by a Jewish community during the Second Temple period and is most commonly associated with the Essenes, a mystic sect. Visitors can see the remains of the buildings and cisterns that were used by the community, as well as learn about the history and culture of the ancient Jewish community in the region.

The unique atmosphere of the northern part of the Dead Sea, including its religious, mystic, and spiritual traditions, is evident in both St. George's Monastery and Qumran. These two sites offer a fascinating insight into the diverse religious practices and beliefs of the ancient communities who lived in the region. They highlight the enduring legacy of the early Christian monks who sought solitude and asceticism in the Wadi Qelt caves.

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Evgeny Praisman (author)
Здравствуйте! Меня зовут Женя, я путешественник и гид. Здесь я публикую свои путешествия и путеводители по городам и странам. Вы можете воспользоваться ими, как готовыми путеводителями, так и ресурсом для создания собственных маршрутов. Некоторые находятся в свободном доступе, некоторые открываются по промо коду. Чтобы получить промо код напишите мне сообщение на телефон +972 537907561 или на и я с радостью вам помогу! Иначе, зачем я всё это делаю?
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