Richard T. Nowitz

A cistern or a mikveh, a bath for ritual purification, this structure is one small part of Qumran’s elaborate water system. Collected from the heights above, Qumran’s water ran in channels to the site and was stored in six or eight reservoirs within the settlement, providing enough water for several hundred people. Cook observes that the numerous mikva’ot indicate that the residents of Qumran—whatever their identity and number—had a special concern for ritual purity.