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orion AMS dating

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We can all agree, I imagine :-) that the scrolls were written over a
period of many years, a number in the hundreds. AMS Radiocarbon method
dates the probable time of death of the plant or animal matter used as
writing surface. The dating method is not perfect, but it has a pretty
good record. It does not directly date the time a scroll entered a cave.
But one thing is certain: a scroll must exist before it is deposited;
likewise, a group of scrolls must exist before they are deposited.
Therefore, the average date of a group of scrolls must be earlier
than--not the same as--the date of deposit. AMS dating *can* exclude
some proposals. The 63 BCE proposed deposit date for the 11 caves is
excluded because some scrolls did not yet exist. The confusion in Tom
Simm's posts (aside from some questionable math--e.g., 19 of 20 is not
90%) comes from assuming that the average date of the scrolls equals, or
is just before, the date of deposit time. Yet the average date must
precede the deposit time -- at least (it can be more) -- by a number
commensurate with the fact that the scrolls were written over a long
period of time. Even if one ignored the post-63 BCE scrolls, still, the
only way one could have a deposit in 63 BCE for all the caves, given the
average age, would be to assume there were only a few then-old texts and
almost all others were written or copied in the 60s BCE. But AMS dating
has falsified that too. Simm's statement that a 70 (or 68) CE deposit
date has "zilch" probability is false. At least, that's how I read the
numbers. If anyone wishes to check, see:  Radiocarbon 34 (1992) 843-9;
35 (1993) 335-8; 37 (1995)11-19 and 21-32; 'Atiqot 20 (1991) 27-32; 37
(1996) [7 pages in offprint]; BA 54 (1991) 172; BASOR 123 (1951) 24-26;
PEQ, 1960, 27-36.
S. Goranson