Carbon Dating
BibArch Home Up Pottery and Dating Tree-Ring Dating Carbon Dating



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BibArch Home Up C-14 Analysis

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The National Ice Core Laboratory at Denver is the repository for more than 13,000 ice core samples collected by U.S. researchers in Greenland and Antarctica. NICL photo by Ken Abbott. Courtesy of the University of Colorado.

Reported in Archaeology (Jan./Feb. 1995) and several other periodicals,   research using ice core samples from the ice sheet in central Greenland, archived in the National Ice Core Laboratory, shows that chronologies based upon Mycenaean pottery requires some rethinking.

The traditional benchmark of Mycenaean pottery indexes is an eruption of Thera in 1500 BCE. The fact is that the eruption of Thera, which caused the volcanic destruction of the Minoan town of Akrotiri, occurred about 1625 BCE not 1500 BCE as traditionally understood. There is no evidence in the ice core for a major 1500 BCE eruption.

This means that the traditional chronology for the first half of the late Bronze Age is off by more than a century. This is consistent with the re-calibration of Carbon 14 based upon improved instrumentation and its adjustment against the results of newly developed tree-ring date indexes. See Carbon 14 Dating and Tree-Ring Dating.

Studies based on annual growth rings in bristlecone pines in the United States, and oak trees in Europe, confirm a disturbance in global climatic conditions about 1628 BCE. The Carbon 14 dates for Akrotiri suggest the volcanic destruction of the city about 1625 BCE.

Historians have to rethink both their chronologies and their interpretations of the Late Bronze Age in the Mediterranean. This will discredit the scholarship of some and move scholarly thinking closer to the traditional biblical chronology of the period. Consequently, some historians and archaeologists resist the scientific data.

Page last edited: 01/25/06 07:17 PM

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