To state this perhaps more clearly, it was my firm opinion then and now that the margins-of-error in C-14 testing for a timeframe, such as that for the mss.at Qumran - particularly the 'sectarian' ones or those never seen before - were of such magnitude as to render "absolute dating" unrealistic.
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Apart from central Europe, its applications have been most common in Scandinavia, Iceland, New Zealand, the United States, Canada, Greenland and Antarctica, but there have also been applications in Kenya, Peru, Britain, Russia, China, central Asia and the Caucasus.
Its use in archaeology has rarely been explored (Benedict 1975, 1985; Bettinger and Oglesby 1985; Broadbent 1987; Broadbent and Bergqvist 1986; Follmann 1961a, 1961b; Laundon 1980; Winchester 1988), and aside from myself, no rock art researcher has sought to apply lichenometry to rock art.
Philip Davies of Sheffield University and I suggested in two letters to the Israel Antiquities Authority that, in lieu of granting proper access to all scholars and other interested persons to the unpublished corpus of the Dead Sea Scrolls - then the reigning issue in Scrolls Studies and a thing the Antiquities Authority, under the influence at the time of what was called "The International Committee", was refusing to do - it could at least conduct AMS Carbon tests (tests well within its authority to conduct) consuming less material and unknown previously and not therefore applied.
However in the letters, we attached two caveats - neither of which, in the event, were observed - 1) that "Opposition Scholars" (the term people were applying to dissenting "scholars" like myself) be included in the process to ensure objectivity and that their concerns were properly and fairly addressed (since it was they who had felt the most need for such tests in the first place); and 2) that "relative" as opposed to "absolute dating" - meaning, "earlier vs.
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later" in the same test run - be the goal; because, given the fairly large margins-of-error involved (in most cases greater than the actual timespan that could be considered for a given document to begin with), "absolute dating" (an attempt to get an actual date for a given mss.) was, in the circumstances, not a realistic goal.
On the other hand, "relative dating" could at least test the paleographic sequences and the derivative claims for paleographic accuracy in Qumran Studies - at the time considered almost inviolable and virtually sacrosanct.
However, where AMS Carbon dating is concerned, I take responsibility for its having arisen, unfortunately, in the first place and the procedure itself being ultimately employed in a certainly tendentious and somewhat over-inflated manner where the Scrolls were concerned.