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Re: orion-list evidently not 63 BCE
Stephen Goranson writes, in part:
> Paleography, though hardly flawless, seems to me against the
> [63 BCE] proposal. Doudna's critique of F.M. Cross offers an
> generation production--which appears to me less probable, paleographically,
> and text-critically. Also, that critique wrongly characterized the
> archaeological publication on Gezer, which a casual reader might suppose is
> the essay's clearest dispute with Cross.
I have studied the published articles on the Gezer boundary stones, and
it is very apparent to me that the case for dating them to the time of Simon,
i.e. second century BCE, is far better than the 1st CE alternative (as Doudna
also points out). This is one of the "pegs" Cross uses in his paleographical
dating system. His dating scheme can be no better than the flawed
archaeological data he utilized. And his dispute with de Vaux over the
dating of a pot with Herodian script, which de Vaux assigned for sound
archaeological reasons to Period Ib and Cross to Period II from paleography
(as I recall) is another terrible example of conflict between archaeology and
Cross's paleography. I am convinced (with Doudna) that the transition from
"Hasmonean" to "Herodian" scripts took place much earlier than Cross allows
and that these terms are misnomers. However, I agree with you that for all
the script forms to be representative of a single generation seems unlikely.
> Internal text references to history are few at Qumran. Yet even
> Doudna proposed one after 63 BCE. Gmirkin argued that name could have been
> pre 63, in an unattested earlier battle. Yet what about allowance for
> Peitholaus (or Broshi's suggestion) or Aemilius or supposed-code-named
> Pompey or reconstructed iffy Gabinius later?
I believe that you are above referring in the first instance to the
Peitholaus text. If so, then it was Doudna who proposed that the reference
to a battle involving Peitholaus may refer to an unattested battle earlier
than 63 BCE instead of during the 50s BCE when Josephus provides information
on this historical figure.
Doudna has argued that the Qumran references to Peitholaus, Aemilius and
Gabinius are all possible within a pre-63 BCE setting just prior to Pompey's
conquest. I agree that this is a possibility, so that their mention does not
exclude a 63 BCE hiding of the scrolls, which is an attractive possibility
historically speaking. Yet I am also willing to allow for the possibility
that these three references come as late as the 50s BCE and that a hiding of
the scrolls may have taken place in the 50s. If so, then 4 of the 5 scrolls
whose 2-sigma range of radiocarbon dates fall slightly later than the 60s
would be accomodated by a slightly later deposit date. Only time and
additional data will tell. Doudna's call for further radiocarbon tests is to
On your other comments on the archaeology of the site, I think it would
be appropriate to wait for Doudna's forthcoming article in Qumran Chronicle.
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