David Harris

Shallow graves march evenly across the desert on a north-south axis just east of the Qumran settlement. Mounds of stones mark each grave. Only about 40 of the nearly 1,200 graves were excavated. Three or four women’s and children’s skeletons were found. Does the fact that almost all were male support Father Roland de Vaux’s monastery theory? De Vaux realized that the number of graves is disproportionate to the small living space at the settlement. How can we account for so many graves at so small a site? Because so few of the graves have been excavated, what contribution they could make to solving Qumran’s many puzzles will remain a mystery.