Skip to main content The Qumran Visialization Project

"In the fall of 2005, Professor William Schniedewind, Chair of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at UCLA, sought a way to improve his course on Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls. Specifically, he sought a tool to better illustrate the daily life of the community described within the scrolls. Much attention has been given to the archaeological remains at Khirbet Qumran, the site that sits near the caves where the scrolls were discovered. Roland deVaux, the first to excavate the site in 1951, concluded was that Qumran was the origin of the scrolls. In the subsequent years, many archaeologists have used the Dead Sea Scrolls to interpret the site of Qumran, working under deVaux's initial assumption that Qumran was the origin of the scrolls.However, over the past few decades, this process of using the scrolls to inform the archaeology of Qumran has come under fire. Many archaeologists have concluded that the Dead Sea Scrolls have nothing whatsoever to do with the site. These scholars have suggested alternative interpretations for the site at Qumran, ranging from a military fort, to a vacation home, to a pottery factory.A central question lies at the heart of understanding Qumran. Should the Dead Sea Scrolls be used to inform the archaeology of Qumran? Additionally, if the scrolls are eliminated from equation of Qumran, can the archaeology of Qumran, standing on its own, arrive at the same conclusion?Professor Schniedewind's idea was to attempt to utilize the Visualization Portal at UCLA to illustrate the site at Qumran, just as the model of the Jerusalem Temple Mount has done in Los Angeles and at the Davidson Center in Jerusalem. The plan was to use the still widely accepted Qumran-Essene hypothesis and reconstruct the community at Khirbet Qumran. He commissioned the project to build a fully reconstructed, three-dimensional, real-time, interactive model of the site at Khirbet Qumran..."

Format:  Website
Publisher:  University of California
Publication City:  Los Angeles
Date:  2007