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Excavations at Khirbet Qazone (Jordan)

An HSNES rescue excavation was conducted in March and April of 2004 at Khirbet Qazone, a unique 1st-3rd century AD cemetery site located on the eastern shore of the Dead Sea. Significantly, it is comparable to Khirbet Qumran where the Essenes were thought to have written the Dead Sea Scrolls. Support also came from the National Geographic Society and the British Academy.

Since its discovery in 1996, ruthless pillaging by tomb-robbers has reduced Qazone to a field of what looks like bomb-craters. Over 3,500 burials have already been looted, some of which contained documents written in Greek and dozens of complete Graeco-Roman textiles. It has been estimated that there are about 5,000 burials at the site, but illegal excavations are reducing these daily. For more information on the discovery of Qazone see the Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan (1998) 42: 611-614; Minerva (2002) 13.2: 27-29.