A feisty University of Chicago professor (Golb), has long argued that the [Dead Sea] scrolls are a sort of library of writings by different Jewish sects hidden near a site known as Qumran to protect the texts from Roman invaders.

Most scholars, meanwhile, have insisted that the scrolls are the work of a tiny sect that wrote them in a monastery at Qumran.

Was Qumran a monastery? A fortress? A factory?

The authors writing in the Sept/Oct issue of Biblical Archaeology Review argue for a pottery factory in an article titled, Qumran – The Pottery Factory.

Read the full article in the Chicago Tribune

Qumran community

The Armchair Archaeologist says: Monastery, fortress or factory? It appears to likely have been a pottery factory, but I find this question interesting because in the beginning (1950s) it seemed the predominant view was that it was a monastery and now the pendulum is swinging away from that theory. This is a good reminder that even the best experts can be”sure”of something but later change their minds. All the reason why archaeologists must allow the evidence to inform our interpretation and not the other way around.