Swords into Plowshares: The Isaiah Scroll and Its Message of Peace
Until August 15, 2008
Summer Art Camps in the Youth Wing
Art Marathon 2008
For children who love art (Hebrew)
Real Time: Art in Israel 1998-2008
Until August 30
Signs of Life: Animating Ticho House
Until September 26
Orphaned Art: Looted Art from the Holocaust in the Israel Museum
Until August 23
The Shrine of the Book
Model of Jerusalem in the Second Temple Period
Youth Wing
Campus Renewal Project

The Qumran Community

---A Collective Economy

“Riches they despise, and their community of goods is truly admirable” (Josephus, Jewish War II, viii, 3)


The pottery workshop, pieces of fabric and spindles, and the remains of baskets, mats, and rope found in the archeological excavations of the site indicate that the sectarians also produced pottery, textiles, and woven goods. We may assume that they used these products themselves, but they also may have sold some of them in markets.

Both the scrolls and classical sources report that the members of the Community were not permitted to retain personal property, but rather shared all their possessions, as indicated, for example, by the passage: “When he has completed one year within the Community . . . his property and earnings shall be handed over to the Bursar of the Congregation” (Community Rule VI, 18–19). Some of the finds unearthed at the site have therefore been interpreted in this light: a hoard of silver, possibly containing the coins deposited by new members with the collective at the end of their first year of candidacy; and an ostracon (inscribed pottery shard) discovered a few years ago near the central building, whose inscription – according to one reading – may attest to the practice of handing over the candidate’s possessions to the Community.

Archaeology Wing
Judaica and Jewish Ethnography
Art Wing
Youth Wing
Art Garden
Shrine of the Book
Ticho House
Rockefeller Museum
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