Carbon 14 dating of the dead sea scrolls
However these things may be, following the tests, the group controlling the process was governed by the belief that the C14 results -- which were on the whole inconclusive or to use the words of BARs reportage skewed -- in some manner confirmed the accuracy of the results arrived at by those basing their chronological determinations on paleography.
The first sigma is the time span that radiocarbon dating theory posits would contain the actual date 68% of the time; the second sigma is a wider time span that would theoretically include the date 98% of the time.
In particular, these attacks focused upon Eisenman, possibly because, though he was the scholar who had initially called for the tests, they did not wish to follow his caveats or possibly because it had since become clear that he was one of the prime movers in the campaign to gain access to and free the Scrolls.
Not only did the framers of these articles directly attack his theories, but Magen Broshi took this attack to a new level of personalized invective in the press releases and news stories accompanying these reports, calling Eisenman ignorant, "vain, even worse, and describing his theories as cranky. ( who while not part of the team appointed to test the Scrolls was generally representative of network theorizing regarding them ) was quoted as referring to Eisenmans position that there was a connection between the Scrolls and the movement we call Christianity as a wholesale theft from the Jewish people.
In the event, neither of these caveats was respected.
Four months later in September of 1989, a spokesman for the Antiquities Authority announced that a run of carbon testing of samples taken from the Scrolls was to be undertaken.
When the second sigma is taken into consideration, this time span can extend to well over two hundred years.