discovery of a "pantry" in locus 89 at Kh. Qumran provided us with
a first hand look at the meal vessels (or table ware) of the community from
As indicated by deVaux, the locus should not be viewed as a general storage room for general pottery since several pottery forms (including cookingpots, storage jars and lids) are missing from the locus. The term "pantry" is acceptable since the vast majority of the vessels might be classified as tableware and serving vessels for meals. The fact that extraordinary quantities of each pottery form were found would lead one to assume that this assemblage served the needs of a large community (and not that of a family or an extended family). The assemblage consists of bowls, plates, cups, terrines, jugs and ovoid storage jars. The vast majority of the vessels were either bowls or plates or cups. Each of these forms were found uniformly stacked upside down in rows within neatly segregated areas. Since the vessels were found segregated by form and set in neatly stacked rows this would lead one to believe that the arrangement of this repertoire might in some way reflect the key elements, including the "table setting" and serving vessels, used in the community meals. The numbers and percentages of vessels within the repertoire might be understood to be random and depending, to a large extent, upon the survival rate of the various vessels. However, it is the present researcher's conclusion that coroborative ceramic and literary evidence exists to confirm these ratios as both meaningful and helpful for understanding the organization of communal meals at Qumran.