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orion 1st BCE generation

	Of course there are not five, but rather one, 1st CE radiocarbon
	datings among the 21 Qumran items, at the two-sigma
	level.  The 1 out of 21 with a reported 95% confidence of an 
	exclusively 1st CE dating is 4QpPs(a).  The date ranges of 
	several other items straddle the 1st BCE and 1st CE, with
	most of the second half of the 1st BCE in these date ranges.
	The interpretation of these dates is that no portion of a date
	range can legitimately be excluded (i.e. 2nd half of 1st BCE)
	unless there are grounds external to the radiocarbon dating for
	doing so.  

	Is the single 14C dating exclusively in the 1st CE a sufficient
	basis to establish a global and far-reaching certainty applicable
	to the whole corpus of Qumran texts?  In a word, no.  If my
	hypothesis of a mid-1st BCE generation of the bulk of Qumran
	texts and cave deposits is correct, radiocarbon datings of
	21 items from this generation would _predict_ at least one or
	two off the edge out there exclusively in the 1st CE.  (Of course, 
	an alternative interpretation of the 4QpPs(a) dating is that it 
	received that measurement because it is truly a 1st CE text; 
	but repeatability and redundancy are needed in cases of data
	at the edges of clusters before declaring certainty.)

	In a future article I hope to publish graphs of actual radiocarbon
	data on treering measurements, i.e. of known date.  Radiocarbon
	dates jump all over the line of the date, some above, some below,
	the majority overlapping it at some point but many date ranges 
	that do not overlap, i.e. are not "hits".  Several visual examples
	of this nature should go a long way toward removing the perception 
	of near-certainty that might at first glance appear concerning the
	existence of any 1st CE scribal activity represented in the 
	Qumran texts on the basis of present radiocarbon data.  

	Greg Doudna