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C-14, coins, Essenes
Dear Ian H.,
You appear to refuse to recognize some published facts. Unless you
do, I see no point to long dialogue with your many opinions, some of which
appear to me to be irrelevant and at times discourteous. For now, I will
try to explain two examples. I wrote (earlier this month; the date
members received it may have varied [?]) that you had misreported the
C-14 evidence and the coin evidence. You responded, "I don't believe so"
and "How?", respectively.
1) C-14. You wrote "...13 out of the fourteen Qumran texts were in
fact early, making a 63 bce dating...quite possible." Please read Greg
Doudna's 12 Dec post: "Of 19 Qumran texts so far tested, about 5 are
1st century CE candidates on radiocarbon grounds"--and others have ranges
which include years from 63 to 1 BCE. Better yet, read the data
reported in several articles in Radiocarbon and 'Atiqot.
2) COINS. Sigrid P. already (13 Jan, ioudaios) pointed out that you
reported only part of p. 22 in VanderKam [not Fitzmyer, as she inadvertently
wrote]. You reported only some of the coins. The coin hoard is dealt with,
with its archaeological context, very well by J. Magness, whose DSD 2
article I previously commended to you. As already noted (on orion or
ioudaios) coins are most useful for dating when found in sealed loci.
The total coin number, which is rather small, coheres well with the
Essene identification, as they had less call to carry coins daily than
other populations. You attempt to refute the "Essene hypothesis" by
attacking a straw man parody of it (e.g. as a small, isolated sect).
But, e.g., Philo (Apology 8.11.1) wrote: "They live in a number of
towns in Judaea, and also in many villages and large groups." Further,
you mischaracterize Sadducees (was Zadok a Sadducee?).
To date the end of a phase at Qumran, it would be reasonable to
expect you to interact with data on the use of the structures and the
pottery, etc. And it would be useful if you interact with proposals
made by archaeologists perhaps de Vaux or: Laperrousaz (whose datings
may suit you more than some others), Rachel Bar-Natan, Magness, Broshi,
Eshel, etc. In brief, I do not agree with G.D. or R.G. in considering
your dating proposal as well supported (yet).
Finally, perhaps it would be helpful to note [I sent this to the
orion bibliography but either they did not receive it or perhaps they
don't want encyc. articles(?)]:
Robert Donceel wrote the article "Qumran" in the new Oxford Encyclopedia
of Archaeology in the Near East. Michael Wise wrote on DSS and I wrote
on Essenes. Of course, there is some overlap and some disagreements,
but I hope you will find some useful information and bubliography there.
Stephen Goranson UNC-Wilmington