"Though they may be thought of as outside Judaism today, the Essenes were one of the major sects of Judaism at the time." -Rabbi Sperber
(Israel)— [BreakingIsraelNews.com] Based on new studies, researchers have confirmed that the ancient site of Qumran, location of the Dead Sea Scrolls, was likely the home of the Essenes, an all-male celibate Jewish sect in the Second Temple Era. (Photo: Cave of the Dead Sea Scrolls at the ruins of Qumran in the desert of Israel/Shutterstock/via BIN)
Until now, the subject was a matter of debate, as scientists had identified both male and female skeletons in the site's cemetery. But research done on 33 newly excavated skeletons from Qumran has revealed that almost all were male, with the genders of three skeletons indeterminate. The researchers also reexamined 53 previously unearthed skeletons from Qumran's cemetery and discovered that six of seven individuals formerly tagged as women were actually men.
Researcher Yossi Nagar, an anthropologist for the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), reported last week that the most probable explanation for the lopsided demographics is that Qumran was a community of Essenes: a Jewish sect that lived a monastic life in the desert, adopting strict dietary laws and a commitment to celibacy...
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