Photos by Christine Dalenta, University of Hartford

Atop the burial. Excavators at Qumran scour the remains of Building B. After a thorough inspection of the structure, Broshi and Eshel believe they have finally determined its purpose: It served as a mourning enclosure, a building in which ancient mourners ate their meals and performed memorial ceremonies. Similar enclosures have been found elsewhere in Roman-Byzantine Palestine.
Who was buried here? Broshi and Eshel reject the suggestion that it was the Teacher of Righteousness, a key figure in the Dead Sea Scrolls, because they believe the Teacher was a particular individual who lived earlier than the date of the tomb. They suggest instead that the grave was for a mevaqqer, or overseer, an office held by a succession of individuals and also known from the scrolls.