Philip Davies of Sheffield University and I suggested in two letters to the Israel Antiquities Authority that, in lieu of granting proper access to all scholars and other interested persons to the unpublished corpus of the Dead Sea Scrolls - then the reigning issue in Scrolls Studies and a thing the Antiquities Authority, under the influence at the time of what was called "The International Committee", was refusing to do - it could at least conduct AMS Carbon tests (tests well within its authority to conduct) consuming less material and unknown previously and not therefore applied.However in the letters, we attached two caveats - neither of which, in the event, were observed - 1) that "Opposition Scholars" (the term people were applying to dissenting "scholars" like myself) be included in the process to ensure objectivity and that their concerns were properly and fairly addressed (since it was they who had felt the most need for such tests in the first place); and 2) that "relative" as opposed to "absolute dating" - meaning, "earlier vs.On the other hand, atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons during the 1950s and 1960s is likely to have increased the Carbon 14 content of the atmosphere.In fact, research has been conducted which suggests that nuclear tests may have doubled the concentration of C-14 in this time, compared to natural production by cosmic rays. If you’d like more info on Carbon Dating, check out NASA’s Virtual Dating: Isochron and Radiocarbon – Geology Labs On-line, and here’s a link to USGS Radiometric Dating Page. To state this perhaps more clearly, it was my firm opinion then and now that the margins-of-error in C-14 testing for a timeframe, such as that for the mss.at Qumran - particularly the 'sectarian' ones or those never seen before - were of such magnitude as to render "absolute dating" unrealistic.
The fluctuation of the amount of C-14 in the atmosphere over time adds a small uncertainty, but contamination by "modern carbon" such as decayed organic matter from soils poses a greater possibility for error. Thomas Seiler, a physicist from Germany, gave the presentation in Singapore.
However, where AMS Carbon dating is concerned, I take responsibility for its having arisen, unfortunately, in the first place and the procedure itself being ultimately employed in a certainly tendentious and somewhat over-inflated manner where the Scrolls were concerned.
This occurred in the following manner: in March-June of 1989, Prof.
The four pieces of cloth were: The laboratories agreed not to exchange results until they had given them first to the British Museum.
The results, together with a full write-up of the experiments and the calibration curves were published in an article in the magazine, Nature.