Radiocarbon dating of the dead sea scrolls


23-Mar-2016 05:03

Not only did he not state from where the idea to do such testing had originally come, but he put forth no statistical or historical methodology for determining which Scrolls should be tested and by whom.

Thus, while John Strugnell, then chief editor of the Scrolls Project, and Israeli scholars Magen Broshi, then Head of the Shrine of the Book, and ultimately Emmanuel Tov, who succeeded Strugnell, were among those named to oversee or be included in the process, no opposition scholar was included or mentioned -- not even in an advisory capacity, though they were the ones who had originally called for the tests and presumably felt the most need for them.

Drori, to gain access to the Qumran parallels to the famous Damascus Document (CD) and the general situation denying access to unpublished Qumran materials to scholars not part of the "International Team or those favored for some reason by it.

In their letter describing and protesting this situation, Eisenman and Davies suggested that if Mr.

Introduction The first request for the application of up-to-date AMS carbon dating on Qumran documents was made by Professors Robert Eisenman of California State University Long Beach and Philip Davies of the University of Sheffield, England in a letter to Amir Drori, then Head of the Israeli Antiquities Authority, on May 2, 1989.

The letter stemmed from their frustration at the denial of an earlier request in March 16, 1989 , addressed to John Strugnell and copied to Mr.

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.

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.



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