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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 
be applauded.
     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.  

     Best wishes,
     Russell Gmirkin
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