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Libby had first started using the dating method in 1946 and the early testing required relatively large samples, so testing on scrolls themselves only became feasible when methods used in the dating process were improved upon. Davies made a request to date a number of scrolls, which led to a series of tests carried out in Zurich on samples from fourteen scrolls.
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.
I understand calibration might have something to do with this, but then in the article it says in italicized words that the uncalibrated date “Must Always Be Mentioned”. CMI’s Dr Rob Carter responds: Anthony, As a fan of biblical archaeology, I was asked to address your question.
The problem is that most people reporting on these issues fail to report the initial number along with the calibrated date. The Jericho controversy is soundly rooted in C-14 calibration.
This calibrated range of dates is represented in the last column, given with a 2-sigma error rating, which means at 95% confidence.
With the exception of the first text from Wadi-ed-Daliyeh, the texts in the table below are only those from the caves around Qumran.
You probably have seen or read news stories about fascinating ancient artifacts.
At an archaeological dig, a piece of wooden tool is unearthed and the archaeologist finds it to be 5,000 years old.
There are two reasons uncalibrated dates must be mentioned: 1) this prevents people from making up any number they please, and 2) it is for the sake of posterity, where future scientists can check the results and apply new ideas of calibration. Radiocarbon dates are affected by many outside factors.