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orion-list 63 BCE deposit date theory

	The post by Ian Hutchesson of c. Jan 9, 1997 arguing for
	a 63 BCE deposit date for all of the Qumran texts is available
	at Ian's Dead Sea Scrolls website.  It is:


	A number of topical essays of Ian are listed on Scrolls topics;
	simply select "an essay proposing an early date for the
	deposition of the scrolls". 

	I think it was Russ Gmirkin (frequent continuing contributor on
	Orion) who brought out that if Qumran is part of the network of
	Hasmonean building enterprises on the Dead Sea as currently
	held by many drawing from earlier analysis of Avigad, that 
	Qumran, even though not named, would be within the range of
	military fortresses handed over to the "Sadducees" in the era
	of Alexandra Salome according to Josephus.  Aristobulus II
	then presumably inherited control of these sites, and this would 
	put Qumran in the control of Aristobulus II at the time the known 
	dateable internal references in the texts stop cold.  Ian argued 
	that the texts went into the caves as an operation of 
	Aristobulus II or Sadducees allied with Aristobulus, at the 
	time of the invasion of Pompey.

	The question is interesting and radiocarbon has the potential 
	means of falsifying the proposal.  (I see no other means of
	getting a potential falsification.)  That is why this question is
	heuristically useful.  If radiocarbon data (which is at present
	ambiguous) in the future shows _agreement_ with the 63 BCE
	theory, that is not proof as such for the 63 BCE theory, since 
	radiocarbon alone is too imprecise to prove any specific year
	date.  But radiocarbon is capable of falsifying some theories, if 
	they are unambiguously in disagreement with the data.  A good 
	question and testable--this is what makes science interesting!  
	If questions are asked that are perceived as too difficult, beyond 
	ability ever to answer, we lose interest.  If questions are asked
	are too easy, we also lose interest.  It is those questions that are

	in-between--the tough, interesting questions that are within 
	the range of ability and means of possibly answering--that is 
	what is exciting!  

	Greg Doudna
	U. of Copenhagen

For private reply, e-mail to Greg Doudna <gd@teol.ku.dk>
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