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Carmi (2002) is a response to our study published in Radiocarbon 43(1) by Rasmussen et al. (2001). We noted widespread possible exposure to castor oil of the Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS) in the Rockefeller Museum in the 1950s and reported experiments showing that the AAA pretreatment used in the first 2 series of radiocarbon datings of the DSS (Bonani et al.  and Jull et al. ), “cannot be guaranteed to have removed all of the modern carbon in any samples if they had been contaminated with castor oil and hence could have produced some 14C dates that were younger than the texts' true ages.” Carmi, a coauthor of the Bonani et al. (1992) study, criticizes our analysis on 4 grounds:
Some fragments of the Dead Sea Scroll manuscripts were contaminated with castor oil in the late 1950s. We have conducted experiments in order to establish if the AAA pretreatment cleaning procedures conducted on Dead Sea Scroll manuscript samples in the last two dating series (Bonani et al. 1992; Jull et al. 1995) were effective in removing oil contamination. Our experiments show that not all oil contamination can be expected to have been removed by the acid-alkaline-acid (AAA) pretreatment, and that the radiocarbon ages previously reported therefore cannot be guaranteed to be correct. Any samples contaminated with castor oil were most likely reported with ages that are too young by an unknown amount.