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Re: orion 1st BCE generation

     Having read Greg Doudna's article on C14 dating of the scrolls, and also
having a basic working knowledge of advanced statistics, I would say that his
one generation hypothesis is within the realm of possibility.  An aggregate of
roughly contemporary scrolls would produce a scatter pattern about what we
see.  Of course, this isn't proof.  That is why GD calls it a hypothesis.  And
there is even some counter-evidence, i.e. the Psalms scroll C14 result in the
first century CE.  If such an isolated result were completely reliable, Greg's
hypothesis would fail, at least in its _strong_ version, that _all_ DSS come
from a single generation in the first century BCE.  But he also allows for the
possibility of a weaker version of his hypothesis (if I understand him
correctly), that the majority of the DSS come from a relatively brief period
BCE.  I think Greg is to be commended for exploring the various possible
interpretations of the C14 data - and without necessarily advocating one
possibility.  His call for further data, i.e. more C14 testing, seems very
appropriate to me.  Until there is sufficient evidence, the single generation
hypothesis cannot be decided one way or the other.
    My question is as follows.  A cluster of C14 dates would normally be
interpreted in aggregate, as in his hypothesis, if archaeological evidence
pointed to their being contemporaneous, e.g. if they were from deposits in a
single grave.  What types of evidence would point to the DSS as being
contemporary?  If a number of scrolls were by the same scribal hands, this
would point to the same date for these scrolls, but this is rarely the case at
Qumran.  If the leather came from the same source, e.g. the same family of
sheep or goats, this might point in the same direction.  But some of the
scrolls were from ibex hides, if I recall correctly.  Others are on cow
leather, as shown from DNA testing.  This suggests diverse sources for the
scrolls.  Doesn't this argue against a hypothesis of the scrolls being
produced by a closed group within a relatively brief time span?  Of course,
such arguments also seems decisive in invalidating Qumran as a scribal center
that locally produced the scrolls:  cattle were not raised near Qumran.  

    Russell Gmirkin