Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Mosaic Hike: Starting in Qumron

Howdy! My deepest apologies for the berevity of blog posts over the past week, but sometimes life just gets the best of me. In this case, I have two project deadlines coming up, which really cramps my laid-back style. BUt, without further adu (or is it ado?) I attach photos of my recent hike with MOSAIC, an Anglophonic hiking group, to Qumron. You may remember I was at Qumron a couple of weeks ago on a Tanach tour, but this time, it was more of a sweaty, dirty hike.

The ruins.
One of the caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found.

I guess a refrectory is where you eat stuff.
What's left of the refrectory.

This is the aqueduct leading into town. Runoff water was only captured a couple of times per year, but the system was so efficient it could fill dozens of mikvahs and cisterns to last through the long summer months.

This is pretty clearly a mikvah due to the steps. Cisterns are basically just giant holes, and the bucket would be thrown down into the hole to retrieve water. You'll notice that there is one particularly wide step. In fact, there would typically be four normal steps and then one very wide one, in a repeating series. This was due to the gradually lowering water level. As the water level dropped over the summer, so the bather would have to walk down further and further to reach the water. These regularly-spaced extra-long steps provided a place where the bather could lay out and immerse completely, regardless of the water level.
Okay, NOW we can get started. To the left is the reconstructed aqueduct.
Hiking up the cliff, looking back at Qumron.
More to come!


Batya said...

Fantastic post and great pics. Saves my knees looking at them, rather than hiking myself.

Ephraim said...

Well, saving your knees is important, but there's nothing like getting a good sweat going and making it to the top for a 360 panorama.