Norman Golb proposes that the cemetery holds the remains of local Jews who perished in the war with the Romans and that they were all hastily interred at one time. However, the graves themselves are deep and carefully formed and bear no signs of haste, as Pauline Donceel-Voûte pointed out (cf. the discussion appended to Zdzislaw J. Kapera, “Some Remarks on the Qumran Cemetery,” in Methods of Investigation of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Khirbet Qumran Site: Present Realities and Future Prospects, ed. Michael O. Wise et al., Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, vol. 722 [New York: New York Academy of Sciences, 1994], pp. 111–113, esp. p. 112).

The recent discovery of an ostracon (inscribed pottery sherd) at Khirbet Qumran recording the gift of a house and slave to the yahad seems to clinch the connection of sect and site. The text is to be published in the Israel Exploration Journal by Frank Moore Cross and Esther Eshel.