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Introduction The first request for the application of up-to-date AMS carbon dating on Qumran documents was made by Professors Robert Eisenman of California State University Long Beach and Philip Davies of the University of Sheffield, England in a letter to Amir Drori, then Head of the Israeli Antiquities Authority, on May 2, 1989.

Surprisingly, even though a majority of Qumran specialists worldwide have now been relying uncritically upon the interpretation of these results, no retractions or press releases have come forth from the group that issued the original reports based on this erroneous model.

2) The methods used in interpreting the meaning of the AMS carbon testing were also inaccurate from a purely statistical point-of-view.

The C14 tests that were done were conducted in two separate runs, one in 1989-91 by laboratories in Oxford and Zurich and a second in 1994 at the University of Arizona ( though general gossip has it that some earlier, seemingly inconclusive tests, were undertaken at the Weismann Institute of Science in Israel ).

Not incuriously, these were the same laboratories that had previously been selected for the C 14 testing of the Holy Shroud of Turin.

Review The authors have now undertaken an independent review of the results of the two rounds of carbon testing, in particular the second for which the actual raw data upon which the analyses culminating in these results are based is more fully available and we have determined that: 1) In both the 1989--95 AMS C14 dating runs an inaccurate dating curve was utilized or, more succinctly, a dating curve that because of its imprecision has since come to be considered inexact.

This inaccurate dating curve for the 200BC-200CE period made the absolute dating indications for some samples appear older than they actually were -- this perhaps by a period of some fifty years or more.

4) Finally -- and this is a general statement -- carbon testing (and to some extent as a result the findings of paleography) is too imprecise a tool to provide conclusive evidence for a time span as short as the one at issue in the debate concerning when the sectarian Scrolls were written.

ANALYSIS Let us go into these conclusions separately and more fully.

Where it comes to analyzing the results of the carbon testing of Qumran documents, it should be observed that these time spans or sigmas are not narrow.

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