Radiocarbon dating of the dead sea scrolls

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In the event, neither of these caveats was respected.

Four months later in September of 1989, a spokesman for the Antiquities Authority announced that a run of carbon testing of samples taken from the Scrolls was to be undertaken.

The C14 tests that were done were conducted in two separate runs, one in 1989-91 by laboratories in Oxford and Zurich and a second in 1994 at the University of Arizona ( though general gossip has it that some earlier, seemingly inconclusive tests, were undertaken at the Weismann Institute of Science in Israel ).

To put this in another way, they framed their request in this manner because they did not believe that anything conclusive regarding the absolute dating of the Scrolls could be achieved with a technique as subject to multiple imprecisions as carbon testing was.

As a second caveat, they insisted that opposition scholars be included in the process because they were the ones must likely to understand which were the key documents that should be tested and "they were the ones who felt the most need for it.

In their letter, however, aside from sending an attachment detailing these new methods, they cited two caveats.

One was that the new methods of dating materials should be applied to determine relative not absolute chronology, that is, earlier versus later in the same test run -- absolute chronology in their view being virtually impossible to determine because of the multiple imprecisions to which C14 testing was subject.

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Drori could not force the International Team to open access to the unpublished Scrolls, he could at least employ the recently developed methods of AMS carbon testing to the Scrolls, which had early on been dated by older carbon testing techniques that consumed too much Scroll material to be applied in any general fashion.

The new AMS C14 techniques did not consume so much material and therefore, could be used test the claims of paleographic analysis that were at the time being cited regarding the chronology of the Scrolls by members of the International Team as gospel.

terrem43.ru

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