Carbon 14 dating of the dead sea scrolls
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Wikipedia is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization. The Dead Sea Scrolls have been called the greatest manuscript discovery of modern times.
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The Great Isaiah Scroll 1QIsa has been tested three times, once by Libby, once at Zurich and once at Tucson.
The results from the latter two were almost identical, which is a good indicator of the basic accuracy of this dating method.
They were discovered between 19 in eleven caves along the northwest shore of the Dead Sea.
This is an arid region 13 miles east of Jerusalem and 1,300 feet below sea level.
1QS (#15), tested at Zurich, and 4QSam When 4Q258 (#24) was tested at Tucson its result was so anomalous (129-255 or 303-318 CE) that the laboratory was asked to retest another sample from the same document.
The second test (#21) yielded a result (50 BCE-130 CE) that was deemed more satisfactory.
Among these were samples from other sites around the Dead Sea, which contained date indications within the text to supply a control for the carbon dating results.
The following table shows all the Qumran-related samples that were tested by Zurich (Z), Tucson (T) and Libby (L).
Now identified among the scrolls are 19 fragments of Isaiah, 25 fragments of Deuteronomy and 30 fragments of the Psalms.
The virtually intact Isaiah Scroll, which contains some of the most dramatic Messianic prophecy, is 1,000 years older than any previously known copy of Isaiah.
this is only going to work for living things, not stone tablets.