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RE: [ANE-2] Santorini Eruption and Chronology: Two New Articles

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  • Graham Hagens
    ... The data in these articles appears to be quite robust. Quite a number of short lived analyses are reported in addition to those from the buried olive tree
    Message 1 of 3 , Apr 30 1:13 PM
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      > Following are details of two articles to be published in the Science
      >tomorrow (Friday 28 April 2006), concerning the ongoing application
      >of evidences associated with the Theran eruption to the
      >reconstruction of east Mediterranean chronologies (the articles are
      >already available online).

      >Although I have only had time for a cursory reading thus far, it is
      >nonetheless possible to predict that these articles will stimulate a
      >vigorous level of discussion:

      >> Santorini Eruption Radiocarbon Dated to 1627-1600 B.C.
      >> Walter L. Friedrich, Bernd Kromer, Michael Friedrich, Jan
      >> Heinemeier, Tom Pfeiffer, and Sahra Talamo
      >> Science 28 April 2006: 548.
      >> A buried olive tree provides a firm early date for the massive
      >> Santorini eruption, facilitating correlations among Bronze Age
      >> events throughout the Mediterranean.


      >> Chronology for the Aegean Late Bronze Age 1700-1400 B.C.
      >> Sturt W. Manning, Christopher Bronk Ramsey, Walter Kutschera,
      >> Thomas Higham, Bernd Kromer, Peter Steier, and Eva M. Wild
      >> Science 28 April 2006: 565-569.
      >> Radiocarbon ages from the Aegean region, along with the new age for
      >> the Santorini eruption, revise the inferred relations among Minoan,
      >> Egyptian, and Near Eastern cultures.

      The data in these articles appears to be quite robust. Quite a number of
      short lived analyses are reported in addition to those from the buried olive
      tree - actually an olive branch with 72 rings, which Manning et al. managed
      to slice into four segments for analysis. The precision of the data derived
      from this branch seems to be exceptionally high: 1627-1600 (2 sigma, 95.4%)
      or less than 1%. The only concern which came to my mind is how close the
      14-C ybp values are to a very flat portion of the calibration curve between
      ca.1600-1520 BCE. Since the curve used (IntCal 2004) was largely derived
      from Anatolian sequences, it is not impossible that the required for the
      calibration of Aegean data might be slightly different. If so the close
      proximity of the flat portion at the low end of the data range could have a
      significant impact on the calibrated values.

      The authors do not challenge Egyptian chronology, and only speculate that
      there may be a 'possible flaw in linkages with Egypt' which will require
      'reinterpretation of cultural linkages.'

      Graham Hagens
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