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The History of the Ancient World: From the Earliest Accounts to the Fall of Rome The History of the Ancient World: From the Earliest Accounts to the Fall of Rome

The History of the Ancient World: From the Earliest Accounts to the Fall of Rome The History of the Ancient World: From the Earliest Accounts to the Fall of Rome

A lively and engaging narrative history showing the common threads in the cultures that gave birth to our own.

This is the first volume in a bold new series that tells the stories of all peoples, connecting historical events from Europe to the Middle East to the far coast of China, while still giving weight to the characteristics of each country. Susan Wise Bauer provides both sweeping scope and vivid attention to the individual lives that give flesh to abstract assertions about human history.

Dozens of maps provide a clear geography of great events, while timelines give the reader an ongoing sense of the passage of years and cultural interconnection. This old-fashioned narrative history employs the methods of “history from beneath”―literature, epic traditions, private letters and accounts―to connect kings and leaders with the lives of those they ruled. The result is an engrossing tapestry of human behavior from which we may draw conclusions about the direction of world events and the causes behind them.

13 illustrations, 80 maps

Hardcover: 896 pages
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (March 17, 2007)

Europe: A History Europe: A History

Europe: A History Europe: A History

Here is a masterpiece of historical narrative that stretches from the Ice Age to the Atomic Age, as it tells the story of Europe, East and West. Norman Davies captures it all-the rise and fall of Rome, the sweeping invasions of Alaric and Atilla, the Norman Conquests, the Papal struggles for power, the Renaissance and the Reformation, the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars, Europe's rise to become the powerhouse of the world, and its eclipse in our own century, following two devastating World Wars. This is the first major history of Europe to give equal weight to both East and West, and it shines light on fascinating minority communities, from heretics and lepers to Gypsies, Jews, and Muslims. It also takes an innovative approach, combining traditional narrative with unique features that help bring history alive: 299 time capsules scattered through the narrative capture telling aspects of an era. 12 -snapshots offer a panoramic look at all of Europe at a particular moment in history. Full coverage of Eastern Europe—100 maps and diagrams, 72 black-and-white plates.All told, Davies’'s Europe represents one of the most important and illuminating histories to be published in recent years.

Paperback: 1392 pages
Publisher: Harper Perennial (January 20, 1998)

The History of the Medieval World: From the Conversion of Constantine to the First Crusade The History of the Medieval World: From the Conversion of Constantine to the First Crusade

The History of the Medieval World: From the Conversion of Constantine to the First Crusade The History of the Medieval World: From the Conversion of Constantine to the First Crusade

A masterful narrative of the Middle Ages, when religion became a weapon for kings all over the world.

From the schism between Rome and Constantinople to the rise of the T’ang Dynasty, from the birth of Muhammad to the crowning of Charlemagne, this erudite book tells the fascinating, often violent story of kings, generals, and the peoples they ruled.

In her earlier work, The History of the Ancient World, Susan Wise Bauer wrote of the rise of kingship based on might. But in the years between the fourth and the twelfth centuries, rulers had to find new justification for their power, and they turned to divine truth or grace to justify political and military action. Right thus replaces might as the engine of empire.

Not just Christianity and Islam but the religions of the Persians and the Germans, and even Buddhism, are pressed into the service of the state. This phenomenon―stretching from the Americas all the way to Japan―changes religion, but it also changes the state. 4 illustrations; 46 maps

Hardcover: 768 pages
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (February 22, 2010)

The Urantia Book The Urantia Book
The Urantia Book The Urantia Book

Love

Love is truly contagious and eternally creative. (p. 2018) “Devote your life to proving that love is the greatest thing in the world.” (p. 2047) “Love is the ancestor of all spiritual goodness, the essence of the true and the beautiful.” (p. 2047) The Father’s love can become real to mortal man only by passing through that man’s personality as he in turn bestows this love upon his fellows. (p. 1289) The secret of a better civilization is bound up in the Master’s teachings of the brotherhood of man, the good will of love and mutual trust. (p. 2065)

Prayer

Prayer is not a technique of escape from conflict but rather a stimulus to growth in the very face of conflict. (p. 1002) The sincerity of any prayer is the assurance of its being heard. … (p. 1639) God answers man’s prayer by giving him an increased revelation of truth, an enhanced appreciation of beauty, and an augmented concept of goodness. (p. 1002) …Never forget that the sincere prayer of faith is a mighty force for the promotion of personal happiness, individual self-control, social harmony, moral progress, and spiritual attainment. (p. 999)

Suffering

There is a great and glorious purpose in the march of the universes through space. All of your mortal struggling is not in vain. (p. 364) Mortals only learn wisdom by experiencing tribulation. (p. 556)

Angels

The angels of all orders are distinct personalities and are highly individualized. (p. 285) Angels....are fully cognizant of your moral struggles and spiritual difficulties. They love human beings, and only good can result from your efforts to understand and love them. (p. 419)

Our Divine Destiny

If you are a willing learner, if you want to attain spirit levels and reach divine heights, if you sincerely desire to reach the eternal goal, then the divine Spirit will gently and lovingly lead you along the pathway of sonship and spiritual progress. (p. 381) …They who know that God is enthroned in the human heart are destined to become like him—immortal. (p. 1449) God is not only the determiner of destiny; he is man’s eternal destination. (p. 67)

Family

Almost everything of lasting value in civilization has its roots in the family. (p. 765) The family is man’s greatest purely human achievement. ... (p. 939)

Faith

…Faith will expand the mind, ennoble the soul, reinforce the personality, augment the happiness, deepen the spirit perception, and enhance the power to love and be loved. (p. 1766) “Now, mistake not, my Father will ever respond to the faintest flicker of faith.” (p. 1733)

History/Science

The story of man’s ascent from seaweed to the lordship of earthly creation is indeed a romance of biologic struggle and mind survival. (p. 731) 2,500,000,000 years ago… Urantia was a well developed sphere about one tenth its present mass. … (p. 658) 1,000,000,000 years ago is the date of the actual beginning of Urantia [Earth] history. (p. 660) 450,000,000 years ago the transition from vegetable to animal life occurred. (p. 669) From the year A.D. 1934 back to the birth of the first two human beings is just 993,419 years. (p. 707) About five hundred thousand years ago…there were almost one-half billion primitive human beings on earth. … (p. 741) Adam and Eve arrived on Urantia, from the year A.D. 1934, 37,848 years ago. (p. 828)

From the Inside Flap

What’s Inside?

Parts I and II

God, the inhabited universes, life after death, angels and other beings, the war in heaven.

Part III

The history of the world, science and evolution, Adam and Eve, development of civilization, marriage and family, personal spiritual growth.

Part IV

The life and teachings of Jesus including the missing years. AND MUCH MORE…

Excerpts

God, …God is the source and destiny of all that is good and beautiful and true. (p. 1431) If you truly want to find God, that desire is in itself evidence that you have already found him. (p. 1440) When man goes in partnership with God, great things may, and do, happen. (p. 1467)

The Origin of Human Life, The universe is not an accident... (p. 53) The universe of universes is the work of God and the dwelling place of his diverse creatures. (p. 21) The evolutionary planets are the spheres of human origin…Urantia [Earth] is your starting point. … (p. 1225) In God, man lives, moves, and has his being. (p. 22)

The Purpose of Life, There is in the mind of God a plan which embraces every creature of all his vast domains, and this plan is an eternal purpose of boundless opportunity, unlimited progress, and endless life. (p. 365) This new gospel of the kingdom… presents a new and exalted goal of destiny, a supreme life purpose. (p. 1778)

Jesus, The religion of Jesus is the most dynamic influence ever to activate the human race. (p. 1091) What an awakening the world would experience if it could only see Jesus as he really lived on earth and know, firsthand, his life-giving teachings! (p. 2083)

Science, Science, guided by wisdom, may become man’s great social liberator. (p. 909) Mortal man is not an evolutionary accident. There is a precise system, a universal law, which determines the unfolding of the planetary life plan on the spheres of space. (p. 560)

Life after Death, God’s love is universal… He is “not willing that any should perish.” (p. 39) Your short sojourn on Urantia [Earth]…is only a single link, the very first in the long chain that is to stretch across universes and through the eternal ages. (p. 435) …Death is only the beginning of an endless career of adventure, an everlasting life of anticipation, an eternal voyage of discovery. (p. 159)

About the Author

The text of The Urantia Book was provided by one or more anonymous contributors working with a small staff which provided editorial and administrative support during the book's creation. The book bears no particular credentials (from a human viewpoint), relying instead on the power and beauty of the writing itself to persuade the reader of its authenticity.

Leather Bound: 2097 pages
Publisher: Urantia Foundation; Box Lea edition (August 25, 2015)

The Shortest History of Europe The Shortest History of Europe

The Shortest History of Europe The Shortest History of Europe

In The Shortest History of Europe, John Hirst takes us on a fascinating journey through antiquity, the Middle Ages and beyond, bringing European civilisation to life in all its peculiarity and exuberance. Beginning with Greek and Roman learning, Judeo-Christian religion and a Germanic warrior culture, it discusses how this unlikely alliance at the heart of European civilisation came about, producing empires and city-states, inspiring conquests and crusades, and giving rise to such figures as benign emperors, belligerent popes, chivalrous knights and enlightened citizens. Accompanied by lively illustrations and related with clarity and wit, The Shortest History of Europe tells the remarkable story of our shared civilisation.

About the Author

John Hirst is a widely respected historian and social commentator. A former reader in history at La Trobe University, he is a member of the Film Australia Board and the National Museum council. He is the author of numerous books, including The Sentimental Nation, A Republican Manifesto, Australia's Democracy: A Short History, The Australians: Insiders and Outsiders on the National Character since 1770 and Freedom on the Fatal Shore: Australia's First Colony. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Paperback: 203 pages
Publisher: Old Street Publishing (September 4, 2012)

A History of Modern Europe: From the Renaissance to the Present, 3rd Edition A History of Modern Europe: From the Renaissance to the Present, 3rd Edition

A History of Modern Europe: From the Renaissance to the Present, 3rd Edition A History of Modern Europe: From the Renaissance to the Present, 3rd Edition

A classic in its field, loved by instructors and students for its narrative flair, humor, authority, and comprehensive coverage. More than 100,000 copies sold!

Available in both one-volume and two-volume paperback editions, A History of Modern Europe presents a panoramic survey of modern Europe from the Renaissance to the present day. A single author lends a unified approach and consistent style throughout, with an emphasis on the connections of events and people over time.

The Third Edition, like the two before it, is authoritative and up-to-date. New to the Third Edition is the theme of empire. From the imperial rivalries between France and Spain in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, through the rise and fall of the Ottoman Turkish empire, and on into the imperial history of the twentieth century―decolonization, the spread of the Soviet empire, and the imperial power of the United States―the theme of empire helps students find commonalities among the events of European history.

About the Author

John Merriman is the Charles Seymour Professor of History at Yale University. A specialist in nineteenth century French history, Merriman earned his Ph. D at the University of Michigan. He is the author of many books, including The Margins of City Life: Explorations on the French Urban Frontier, 1815–1851; Red City: Limoges and the French Nineteenth Century; The Agony of the Republic: The Repression of the Left in Revolutionary France, 1848–1851; and, most recently, The Stones of Balazuc: A French Village in Time (Norton, 2002). He regularly teaches the survey of modern European history at Yale.

Paperback: 1342 pages
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 3rd edition (September 29, 2009)

an Introduction to the History of Western Europe An Introduction to the History of Western Europe

An Introduction to the History of Western Europe An Introduction to the History of Western Europe

This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it. This work was reproduced from the original artifact, and remains as true to the original work as possible. Therefore, you will see the original copyright references, library stamps (as most of these works have been housed in our most important libraries around the world), and other notations in the work.

This work is in the public domain in the United States of America, and possibly other nations. Within the United States, you may freely copy and distribute this work, as no entity (individual or corporate) has a copyright on the body of the work.

As a reproduction of a historical artifact, this work may contain missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. Scholars believe, and we concur, that this work is important enough to be preserved, reproduced, and made generally available to the public. We appreciate your support of the preservation process, and thank you for being an important part of keeping this knowledge alive and relevant.

Hardcover: 890 pages
Publisher: Andesite Press (August 8, 2015)


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The Importance of Questioning History: From Malta to the Dead Sea Scrolls

by

Gloria Moss

30 JANUARY, 2020

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History through a lens – the importance of questioning history. Source: Valentyna - Adobe stock
History through a lens – the importance of questioning history. Source: Valentyna - Adobe stock


According to George Orwell, Sir Walter Raleigh stopped writing his History of the World after he was unable to identify the cause of the scuffle and murder that took place outside his cell in the Tower of London . A favorite of Queen Elizabeth I and a leading intellectual, this reaction singled him out from many future historians.

For example, the renowned Oxford philosopher, historian and archaeologist R G Collingwood (1889-1943), viewed people as driven by reason rather than emotion, assumptions that bedeviled classical economists until behavioral economists challenged their models in the 1970s.  Should we now be returning to Raleigh's skepticism as a historian and viewing history through the lens of those who write it? We will take two cases of distant history - prehistoric Malta and the Dead Sea Scrolls site of Qumran – and see how interpretations may have been influenced by the personalities of the archaeologists involved and show the importance of questioning history.

1. Prehistoric Malta

The Maltese archipelago lies about 90km to the south of the south-eastern tip of Sicily to which it is thought it may originally have been linked until about 5 million years ago.  Then,  tectonic activity resulted in a re-opening of the Gibraltar Straits filling up the Mediterranean and isolating the Maltese Islands area from the mainland. Even today, the sea between the Maltese Islands and Sicily is mostly less than 90m in depth.

A map of when Malta and Sicily may have been joined.
A map of when Malta and Sicily may have been joined. (Image courtesy of Lenie Reedijk - Ancient Origins)
A map of when Malta and Sicily may have been joined.
(Image courtesy of Lenie Reedijk - Ancient Origins)

So, Sicily may have been the land of origin of Malta's first colonizers, millions of years ago.  It may then, arguably, have been home to peoples who lived there and created a temple culture in Paleolithic times, a period spanning 40,000 to 10,000 years before our time.  The evidence for this dating comes from teeth found near Ghar Dalam in 1918 (Keith, 1918 and 1924; Mifsud and Mifsud, 1997) as well as a temple system aligned to the constellation of Sirius, whose movements can be accurately documented (Reedijk, 2018).  Despite this, official history of Malta is focused on a temple culture beginning in at least 5,000 years later, in 4,000-3,000 BC.

Photograph of the teeth found in 1917 suggesting evidence of Paleolithic humans in Malta. Giuseppe Despott - Sir Arthur Keith
Photograph of the teeth found in 1917 suggesting evidence of Paleolithic humans in Malta. (Giuseppe Despott / Sir Arthur Keith)
Photograph of the teeth found in 1917
suggesting evidence of Paleolithic humans in Malta.
(Giuseppe Despott / Sir Arthur Keith)

Sir Arthur Evans

One of the people said to be responsible for the later dating of Malta was the British archaeologist, Sir Arthur Evans, the archaeologist of Knossos. According to a recent account of Maltese prehistory (Reedjik, 2018), Evans maintained that Knossos was the Bronze Age cradle of European civilization and this thinking not only marginalized the considerable evidence of Neolithic inhabitation but also skewed the thinking of generations of archaeologists.

You might say that vested interests were at work since Evans had purchased the land at Knossos and created huge reconstructions of Bronze Age palaces.  This investment paid off since the site is the second most popular tourist attraction in all of Greece after the Acropolis but the ethics of combining the roles of archaeologist and business owner role must be considered problematic, particularly in view of descriptions of the reconstructions as 'inaccurate' and 'damaging' (German, https://tinyurl.com/vmn7dc2).

Sir Arthur Evans
Sir Arthur Evans. (Unknown / CC BY 4.0)
Sir Arthur Evans. (Unknown / CC BY 4.0)

How did Evans achieve his influence? Whilst a modern history undergraduate at Oxford, he showed himself unable in his finals to answer a single question about the twelfth century or beyond, and it was just the intervention of an examiner, Edward Augustus Freeman, that produced a first class degree classification. Then, four years later, in 1878, Arthur married Freeman's eldest daughter and six years later, he was appointed Keeper of the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, with no apparently relevant experience.  It was in the same year, 1884, that he used family money to buy the site of Knossos, branding it as the Bronze Age cradle of European civilization.

Malta at this time was a British colony and no sensible archaeologist would suggest an earlier date for Malta's monuments than those given to Knossos by Evans (Reedjik, ibid).  There were two people who argued for a Paleolithic past for Malta. One was the respected archaeologist, Themistocles Zammit but he died in 1935, and the other, a talented Italian archaeologist, Ugolini but he died in 1936 at the young age of 41.  So, with these two influential archaeologists out of the way, "no independent, non-British archaeologist was ever allowed to take the lead in excavating or interpreting a Maltese prehistoric temple site" (Reedjik, p.49).

Did Giants Exists?

If discussion of a Paleolithic has become the kiss of death to an aspiring archaeologist, so too is discussion of giants. This is despite the somewhat abundant evidence of their earlier existence on the islands.

What form does this evidence take? In terms of documentary evidence, a printed account of the Maltese Islands published in Lyon in 1536, written by Jean Quintin d'Autun (auditor to Grandmaster Philippe Vilier de L'Isle Adam) spoke of an antediluvian race of giants who lived there.  Then, in 1647, we have an account from Abela of the ancient habitation of the Cyclops in Malta, citing burial places "often of enormous size" (e.g. between Madonna della Gratia and the Tower of Blata el Baidha, and another near Zurrico) and the "gigantic bones found in Malta" (one used as a cross-bar for a door) as well as teeth "the thickness of a finger."

In terms of the temples, Gozo's Ggantija, a site meaning 'Giant's Place/ Lair' in Maltese, or 'belonging to the giant' reflects the popular connotations these sites possessed.  Since some of the stones weighed more than 50 tons, it is not unreasonable to assume the involvement of giant in the construction of this temple.

Gozos Gantija Temple
Gozo's Ggantija Temple. (robnaw / Adobe stock)
Gozo's Ggantija Temple. (robnaw / Adobe stock)

Beyond this evidence, there are statues with six fingers or six toes, features identified in the Old Testament with giants or sons of giants (see 2 Samuel 21:20 and I Chronicles XX:4). Then, there is the evidence of the elongated skulls, with 44 investigated by Professor Anton Mifsud and 95.5% declared to be longheaded.  He also stated that a local workman in Gozo shared how he had found a giant while excavating the foundations of a building complex. The laborer had hidden the bones so that he would not be stopped by the authorities from continuing his work and from the evidence he showed Mifsud, it seems that between 4000 and 6000 years ago a man, 2.64 meters tall, was buried upright in the soil.

What is more, in the mid 1930s, a lady working for the British Embassy in Malta, Lois Jessop, wrote of how she saw creatures "of giant stature," about twenty to twenty-five feet high, in the lower level of the Hypogeum in Malta.

Despite this abundance of evidence, Nicholas Vella, currently a Professor at the University of Malta has alluded to the fact that "new paleontological discoveries poured cold water on the evidence for giants" but the nature of this evidence is ignored.  We do know that much of the evidence for giants has been removed from the Smithsonian Museum under the influence of Major John Wesley Powell, the Director of the Smithsonian Bureau of Ethnology from 1879 to 1902 and propounder of Evolution theory - and the removal of the elongated skulls from the Valletta archaeological museum, together with orders to clean away a six-digit hand print from an ancient monument in Malta, are perhaps parallel occurrences.

In the same way, we read that orders were given for the handprint to be effaced from the cave wall.  If you read Gary Wayne's book, The Genesis 6 Conspiracy, you will see the view that a Biblical race of giants spawned a giant/human hybrid race, the Nephilim, who still rule over us today.  Could removal of all reference to giants be an attempt to divert attention from the role played by this group in society today?

Gozos Gantija Temple
Ghar Hasan cave where the cave paintings were originally found and later disappeared. (The Coastal Path)
Ghar Hasan cave where the cave paintings were originally found and later disappeared. (The Coastal Path)

Our Malta study tour on 19-23 June (see banner below) will be putting the spotlight on this and other questions with tours of key sites and talks by speakers on Maltese prehistory, hollow earth and giants, and the Knights of Malta and the Maltese Cross.

2.Dead Sea Scrolls site of Qumran

One of World's Most Controversial Sites

In 1946, a Bedouin shepherd and two others discovered the Dead Sea Scrolls in caves near the site of Qumran. This was fêted as one of the more important finds in the history of modern archaeology (Encyclopedia Britannica) and what we know about the site relies extensively on the excavations of Qumran took place over a period of six seasons (1951–1956) under the direction of Roland de Vaux, head of the Ecole Biblique in Jerusalem.

The excavation site of the Dead Sea Scrolls at Qumran. Author provided
The excavation site of the Dead Sea Scrolls at Qumran. (Author provided)
The excavation site of the Dead Sea Scrolls at Qumran. (Author provided)

This community of Dominican friars was established to "renew biblical studies at a time when modern criticism (history, philology, etc.) was challenging the traditional understanding of the sacred text and unsettling the faith of many Christians" (see https://www.ebaf.edu/ecole-biblique/the-ecole-biblique-et-archeologique-today/) and De Vaux was put in charge despite not being an archaeologist, and having only learned about archaeology from his contact with archaeologists.

One of Dead Sea Scrolls displayed in Shrine of the Book in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. vadiml- Adobe stock
One of Dead Sea Scrolls displayed in Shrine of the Book in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. (vadiml / Adobe stock)
One of Dead Sea Scrolls displayed in Shrine of the Book in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. (vadiml / Adobe stock)

Doubts Concerning De Vaux

Was he best placed to be put in charge of excavations of this highly important site? Three factors suggest not. Firstly, the interpretation of the site assumes a monastic function to the site, with the designation of areas of the site – for example the 'refectory', the 'scriptorium' – mirroring the wording and functions of a monastic community. So, the assumption that the site was home to an ascetic, pre-Christian Jewish sect may be a projection of De Vaux's own monastic inclinations.  Then, his lack of archaeological training may explain why one third of the coin evidence from the site has gone missing, something that undermines attempts to date the site.

The caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. Author provided
The caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. (Author provided)
The caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. (Author provided)

Finally, when Pauline Donceel-Voûte, Professor of Archaeology and History at the Catholic University of Louvain, was asked to re-examine finds against De Vaux's original inventory, she found many objects, which had not been noted down there.  Could this have been because these appeared to sit ill with the interpretation of Qumran as a site for an ascetic sect?  For she found stoppers with tubular orifices (suitable for aerating or testing a substance at regular intervals) as well as a number of glass containers and juglets. Some of the juglets were described as containers for balsam (Donceel-Voûte, 1994a).

This is extraordinary. Balsam was one of the most precious substances of the day, worth twice as much as silver and considered "a sovereign remedy for headache, incipient cataract and dimness of vision" (Strabo of Amaseia).  It is possible that the tight neck of the juglets, allowing only a few drops through at a time, would have ensured that this precious substance was not squandered. What is more, it may have been cultivated at Qumran since its inhabitants, the Essenes, "were expert in the sowing of seeds and the cultivation of plants," employing people to "collect the revenue and gather the various products of the soil" (Dupont-Sommer, 1961). They may then have been processed in the shallow pools, all part of a manufacturing process, according to Donceel-Voûte that "took place in a remarkably neat, hygienic environment" (1994b).

Photo of the Dead Sea Scrolls excavation site in Qumran with the caves and cemetery
Photo of the Dead Sea Scrolls excavation site in Qumran with the caves and cemetery
Photo of the Dead Sea Scrolls excavation site in Qumran with the caves and cemetery

Anomalies in the Cemetery

Donceel-Voûte used this evidence to argue that Qumran was the site of a luxury villa.  However, other facts about the site sit ill with this interpretation. For example, although the site is small, there are no fewer than four adjoining cemeteries, the largest, in the east, containing 1,100 grave plots, some with two corpses. Even if we were to assume that the site was home to the Essenes, this would be an excessive number since scholars have assumed the community to consist of a maximum of 200 people living, according to Josephus to advanced age in a period spanning 200 years.  Moreover, of the forty-seven skeletons exhumed, only seven (15%) were aged over forty, a fact that fits ill with the exceptional longevity of the community.

Moreover, quite apart from the surprisingly large number of grave plots, the reports of these exhumations indicated attributed diverse ethnic origins and occupations to those buried (it is thought that they were laborers, horsemen and scribes) and this diversity is not consistent with our knowledge of the Essenes.  What is more, the bone marrow, teeth and base of the cranium had all been impregnated with madder dye (Moss, 1998). The dye could not have leached from clothing since madder has outstanding fastness properties and, in attaching to bones, was probably ingested.  Since according to a contemporary herbalist, Dioscorides, madder was a powerful diuretic and Pliny supposed it to be effective against jaundice, sciatica and paralysis in conjunction with daily baths ( ibid), it may have been ingested for medicinal reasons. Note that the main feature greeting the visitor to Qumran will be struck by the number of large baths present.

The Tower at the Site's Entrance

Another anachronism with Donceel-Voûte's interpretation is the presence of a commanding tower at the entrance to the site. The walls are four to five feet thick and its rooms communicate with each internally but not externally.  Perhaps it was storing precious commodities such as balsam since a similar tower at En Gedi, further south, was interpreted as being used to store precious aromatics (Hirshfield, 1996). This interpretation would be consistent with the recording of immense treasures in the Copper Scroll , content that has been dismissed by Biblical scholars as pure fantasy.

The tower guards the entrance to the site but has walls 4-5 feet thick and rooms that communicate with each other but not externally. Is there something precious stored here? Author provided
The tower guards the entrance to the site but has walls 4-5 feet thick and rooms that communicate with each other but not externally. Is there something precious stored here? (Author provided)
The tower guards the entrance to the site but has walls 4-5 feet thick and rooms that communicate with each other but not externally. Is there something precious stored here? (Author provided)

What does this all mean? Qumran was being run as a medical center visited by throngs of sick people seeking cures (Moss, 1998; 2000a; 2000b; 2010).  This theory fits the evidence more convincingly than many other theories emerging from Biblical mainstream academics.

Questioning Historians and Archaeologists

If economics has been transformed by an understanding of the role played by psychology in economic behavior, so too must our understanding of the role that psychology plays in shaping historical narratives. Our focus has been on pre-historic and ancient history but the words of a modern historian, Gerry Docherty, are nonetheless applicable.  According to him, "universities promote their version of history with lecturers and professors repeating the accepted story. Then history graduates, fresh with their new degrees, take it into the classroom, and examination boards award only the students who regurgitate the approved learning." The lessons are clear. "We, the general public, are continually lied to. We are. We have been today. We will be tomorrow, unless we begin to question for ourselves."

It becomes our duty therefore to question the past and to usher in a new behavioral approach to the study of history, mirroring the sea-change achieved in the field of economics. We can do this through re-writing histories and also running 'Questioning History' events that bring a sharp, evidence-based approach to events and history. So, join us for our study tour to Malta (19-23 June 2020 – see details below) and our next Questioning History weekend on 12-13 December just outside London.

This questioning will lead us to the place spoken of in a Balzac novel where "there are two histories: official history, lying, and then secret history, where you find the real causes of events." Moreover, since, "who controls the past, controls the future: who controls the present, controls the past" - chilling words from Winston in Orwell's 1984 – we will change our understanding of the present.

Top image: History through a lens – the importance of questioning history. Source: Valentyna / Adobe stock

By Gloria Moss

Prof Gloria Moss PhD FCIPD has published extensively on ancient history and is running 'Questioning History' events.  The next study tour is to Malta (see below) and she will be hosting a second 'Questioning History' event on 12-13 December 2020 in a venue close to London.   For information, see www.learningholidays.webs.com

References:

Chatterton, K. (1932), Big Blockade , London, Hutchinson and Co

Docherty, G and J. MacDonald (2013), Hidden History:  the secret origins of the First World War, Edinburgh and London, Mainstream publishing

Donceel-Voûte, P. (1994a), Les ruines de Qumran reinterpretées, Archaeologia, 298, 25-35

Donceel-Voûte, P. (1994b), Archaeology of Qumran, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 722, 1-38

Dupont-Sommer, A. (1961), The Essene writings from Qumran. Translation by G Vermez, Oxford:  Basil Blackwell

Hirshfield,  (1996), The balm of Gilead, BAR, September/ October, 18-19

Keith, A. (1918), Keith, A., Letter to  Nature, July 25, 1918: 204

Keith, A., 1924. Neanderthal Man in Malta, in  Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute , 56, pp. 251-260

Mifsud, A. and Mifsud, S. (1997), Dossier Malta   Evidence for the Magdalenian, Proprint CO Ltd, Malta

Moss, G. (1998), Religion and medicine:  the case of Qumran, Faith and Freedom, 51 (146), 44-61

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Disclaimer

Disclaimer:
Some material presented will contain links, quotes, ideologies, etc., the contents of which should be understood to first, in their whole, reflect the views or opinions of their editors, and second, are used in my personal research as "fair use" sources only, and not espousement one way or the other. Researching for 'truth' leads one all over the place...a piece here, a piece there. As a researcher, I hunt, gather and disassemble resources, trying to put all the pieces into a coherent and logical whole. I encourage you to do the same. And please remember, these pages are only my effort to collect all the pieces I can find and see if they properly fit into the 'reality aggregate'.

Personal Position

Personal Position:
I've come to realize that 'truth' boils down to what we 'believe' the facts we've gathered point to. We only 'know' what we've 'experienced' firsthand. Everything else - what we read, what we watch, what we hear - is what someone else's gathered facts point to and 'they' 'believe' is 'truth', so that 'truth' seems to change in direct proportion to newly gathered facts divided by applied plausibility. Though I believe there is 'truth', until someone celestial who 'knows' all the facts parts the heavens and throws us a scroll titled "Here Are ALL The Facts And Lies In The Order They Happened," I can't know for sure exactly what "the whole truth' on any given subject is, and what applies to me applies to everyone.
~Gail Bird Allen

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