Near east chronology: Towards an integrated 14C time foundation

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    Abstract

    Chronology is the backbone of all history, as the flow of time is identical in scholarly and scientific fields, even in the Near East. Radiocarbon dating can provide an essential and unifying chronological basis across disciplines, despite precision limitations. This issue presents exciting new 14C developments in archaeological and environmental contexts, ranging from Proto-Neolithic cultures to historic earthquakes along the Dead Sea. Dark periods devoid of settlement in the deserts of the southern Levant seem to disappear with 14C dating. Significant new findings collectively indicate the need for major chronological revisions in the 4th and 3rd millennia BCE in Egypt and the Levant. The implications for the 2nd millennium BCE are not yet established, but the use of 14C dating in the Iron Age is finally beginning to focus on current controversies. The chronological way forward for Dynastic Egypt and the Levantine Bronze and Iron Ages is a multi-disciplinary approach based on detailed high-quality 14C series as a unifying time foundation to anchor archaeological, textual, and astronomical data.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1147-1154
    Number of pages8
    JournalRadiocarbon
    Volume43
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    StatePublished - 1 Jan 2001

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