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RE: orion 1st BCE generation

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Russellīs point is well taken, as to the implications of the diversity of
the scroll materials not indicating a single origin. But Doudna doesnīt seem
to be arguing that they have a common origin, only that they seem to have
originated within a fairly delimited span of time. At present, his is the
hypothesis that must be tested.
Incidentally, in the retest we have proposed, we certainly intend to do a
retest of the date of the psalms pesher-- the only significant outsider to
the 2-sigma group.

Fred Cryer

> ----------
> From: 	RGmyrken@aol.com[SMTP:RGmyrken@aol.com]
> Reply To: 	orion@mscc.huji.ac.il
> Sent: 	17, december 1998 02.38
> To: 	orion@mscc.huji.ac.il
> Subject: 	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