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orion Oil contamination
Oil contamination of the Scrolls ought to be front page news.
If what Fred Cryer and others have said about how often resear-
cherss used castor oil to "brighten" texts is true then the whole
dating argument is flawed. Modern oil on cloth can cut the
measured date before present in half. Solving the effect of such
contamination is still not well understood. This I know from
When C-14 dating used large samples of wood this presented no
major problem but, if I recall some measures reported of reputed-
ly ancient artifacts being "anomalous", then the reason could
well be contamination.
In another venue I have argued that cloth subjected to ambient
smoke levels over centuries can do what I suggested above: cut
the BP date by half.
Given the ambience of the Middle East with tobacco and other
smokes in public places, from charcoal braziers on, the security
of the scrolls from exposure to such carbon bearing smoke may
have been poor. Twenty years ago, who worried. Today we must.
Need I say more? Just deliver me from this useless quibbling.
Let us begin exchanging what we each know of ways to DECONTAMIN-
ATE ancient text samples of modern carbon.