Radiocarbon dating of the Khirbat en-Nahas site (Jordan) and Bayesian modeling of the results

Thomas Higham, Johannes Van Der Plicht, Christopher Bronk Ramsey, Hendrik J. Bruins, Mark Robinson, Thomas E. Levy

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

    26 Scopus citations


    A series of AMS radiocarbon determinations have been obtained from the site of Khirbet-en-Nahas, Jordan. An initial suite of samples dated in Oxford and a subsequent and much larger suite from Groningen were obtained to determine the onset of copper and iron production in the Faynan district. The determinations came from two different areas at the site. Bayesian modeling was used to improve the chronometric resolution. This showed that copper production expanded from ca. 950 BCE. The challenge at sites such as this is to obtain samples of short-lived age and thereby avoid ‘inbuilt age’. Several of the AMS determinations were, in all likelihood, affected by this, and the Bayesian modeling enabled us to determine outliers and question their reliability. Further work is planned. This chapter concerns the analysis of the radiocarbon chronology of Khirbat en-Nahas (hereafter KEN), Jordan, the largest Iron Age copper production site in the Faynan district. It is, therefore, a partial contribution to the Jabal Hamrat Fidan Project, which is engaged in extensive archaeological investigations in this region. Details of the archaeology of the site is discussed elsewhere in this volume (Levy et al. [Chapter 10, this volume]) and in a recent publication (Levy et al. 2004). The aims of the radiocarbon dating program were initially focussed upon two key areas. First, to date one of the large buildings and part of a gate complex at the site.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Bible and Radiocarbon Dating
    Subtitle of host publicationArchaeology, Text and Science
    PublisherEquinox Publishing Ltd
    Number of pages15
    ISBN (Electronic)9781845534981
    ISBN (Print)9781845530570
    StatePublished - 1 Jan 2005

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Arts and Humanities (all)


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