Photos by Christine Dalenta, University of Hartford

The rising sun dramatically highlights a mound at the tip of a finger-like extension on the eastern edge of the huge cemetery at Qumran, the site near where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. The mound contains the heaped remains of a small ancient building and has puzzled excavators for decades. Its location on the boundary of the cemetery suggests that the building was important, but what role did it serve? Its first excavator thought it was a tower. But in the summer of 2001 archaeologists found the remains of several people who had been buried elsewhere originally and then reburied beneath the building.