Carbon 14 dating dead sea scrolls
And so it was that the same wire service reports which went around the world telling of the results of the new radiocarbon datings on the famous Dead Sea Scrolls included, in these same stories, statements that the theory of 1 century CE contexts) even if not always by name.To put it succinctly, Eisenman was being publicly pilloried in the name of the radiocarbon results from Zurich.The radiocarbon datings of the Dead Sea Scrolls at Zurich were in the news when I visited Eisenman on that occasion. It was this public domain reporting of Dead Sea text radiocarbon datings which was the start of my intense interest in radiocarbon dating.At that point everyone in the entire Dead Sea Scrolls field was interested in radiocarbon dating.Now radiocarbon dating added a third, independent external means of dating these texts.Because of Eisenman’s high profile as a critic of establishment scholarly views on the Qumran texts and his role in calling for open access to the unpublished texts at a time when they were still being held secret, combined with a personal style which can fairly be described as occasionally combative, he had accumulated a few scholarly enemies along the way who were only too happy to characterize the new radiocarbon datings as evidence—they claimed—disproving Eisenman’s theory of large-scale 1 century CE composition of the sectarian texts.
The results on the first set had been disappointing, he told me, and there was no need to press further.
I was poor, but I reasoned that in the unlikely event such an offer was accepted it would be worth it to come up with 0 (or 00 for three runs on the same text) even if I had to beg or borrow it, to pay for a dating of one text.
At this stage I was still under the impression that more datings was also Eisenman’s wish.
Despite anything that has happened since, I will always remember these things.
During my first semester of graduate study at Cornell in the fall of 1991, Eisenman called me inviting me to fly out to the West coast to appear with him for a filming of “Nova” in the Huntington Library at San Marino, California.