The recent discovery and excavation of the cemetery at Khirbet Qazone on the southeastern shore of the Dead Sea, has brought to light significant information about the nature of the population and their burial practices. Each of the graves had a single burial and there was no evidence of re-internment. Most of the graves were dug into the soft soil, undercut to the east and covered by adobe brick slabs. Men, women and children alike were laid to rest with their heads placed to the south side of the grave. Although the graves were constructed in a similar manner to those found at Khirbet Qumran on the northwest side of the Dead Sea, there was no other evidence to indicate that these belonged to an Essene community. On the contrary, it is plausible to suggest (on the basis of 1st -2nd century AD pottery, betyl blocks and inscriptions found at the site) that these burials belonged to the Nabataean resi! dents of Mahoza in the Zoar region, as mentioned in the Babatha papyri from the Cave of Letters.