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Dating of the Scrolls

Based on its location and proximity, Qumran
must be assumed, at least since 1st BCE and at
least most of the time, to be under the control
of whoever rules in Jerusalem.  Jerusalem is
_the_ urban and literate center in the Qumran
region at the time.  Isn't it _obvious_ that
Golb was right--that Jerusalem is the most 
likely suspect for the source of origin of the
scrolls (meaning the physical manuscripts).

But the block is the perception that the scrolls
are different than the state of things in Jerusalem
c. 68 CE.  But 68 CE as a date of the scrolls
deposit, contrary to virtually unanimous received
opinion, is _not known_.  It is a non-falsified

But if the scrolls went into the caves at an 
earlier period, then the differences between the
scrolls and what is assumed to be representative
of Jerusalem in the 50's and 60's CE become viewed
quite differently.  The differences then may become
diachronic rather than synchronic, and the 
perception of the source of the scrolls as something
sectarian or strange could vanish in a moment.  This
is why the issue of the date of the deposit of the
scrolls has larger consequences for the scholarship
of today.

I would say the "a quo" of the scrolls going in the caves
is 62 BCE (with the reference to Aemilius Scaurus in a
calendar text a matching fragment of which was found by
excavators in Cave 4).  The "ad quem" is 68 CE for all
the reasons cited by De Vaux.  

How far forward from 62 BCE can that "a quo" be moved
on the basis of evidence?  As for the caves, the jars
and the linen go with the scrolls--date those and that
dates the deposit.  But lamps (being the minimalist
here) attest only people in the caves, not the deposit
of the texts.  There are lamps in the caves which date
closely to  c. 68 CE.  That is a fact.  But it is also
obvious that all caves have been disturbed by later
intrusions after the texts went in.  Which people, exactly,
are the lamps dating?  

Again, it is a serious question:  How much later than
62 BCE can that "a quo" be moved forward on the basis
of secure evidence?

Greg Doudna