Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-78bd46657c-2z7pd Total loading time: 0.332 Render date: 2021-05-08T10:48:33.328Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": false, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true }

Article contents

The Chronology of Tell El-Daba: A Crucial Meeting Point of 14C Dating, Archaeology, and Egyptology in the 2nd Millennium BC

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 July 2016

Walter Kutschera
Affiliation:
University of Vienna, Faculty of Physics, Vienna Environmental Research Accelerator (VERA) Laboratory, Vienna, Austria
Manfred Bietak
Affiliation:
Austrian Academy of Sciences, Commission for Egypt and the Levant, Vienna, Austria University of Vienna, Vienna Institute for Archaeological Science (VIAS), Vienna, Austria
Eva Maria Wild
Affiliation:
University of Vienna, Faculty of Physics, Vienna Environmental Research Accelerator (VERA) Laboratory, Vienna, Austria
Christopher Bronk Ramsey
Affiliation:
Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art, Oxford University, Oxford, United Kingdom
Michael Dee
Affiliation:
Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art, Oxford University, Oxford, United Kingdom
Robin Golser
Affiliation:
University of Vienna, Faculty of Physics, Vienna Environmental Research Accelerator (VERA) Laboratory, Vienna, Austria
Karin Kopetzky
Affiliation:
Austrian Academy of Sciences, Commission for Egypt and the Levant, Vienna, Austria
Peter Stadler
Affiliation:
Museum of Natural History, Department of Prehistory, Vienna, Austria University of Vienna, Department of Prehistory and Medieval Archaeology, Vienna, Austria
Peter Steier
Affiliation:
University of Vienna, Faculty of Physics, Vienna Environmental Research Accelerator (VERA) Laboratory, Vienna, Austria
Ursula Thanheiser
Affiliation:
University of Vienna, Vienna Institute for Archaeological Science (VIAS), Vienna, Austria
Franz Weninger
Affiliation:
University of Vienna, Faculty of Physics, Vienna Environmental Research Accelerator (VERA) Laboratory, Vienna, Austria
Corresponding
Rights & Permissions[Opens in a new window]

Abstract

Radiocarbon dating at the Tell el-Daba site in the Nile Delta has created an enigma for many years. Despite great efforts, the difference of about 120 yr between the chronology based on 14C dates and the one based on archaeological evidence linked to the Egyptian historical chronology has not been solved. In order to foster open discussions on this discrepancy, we present here the results of 40 14C accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) measurements on short-lived plant material assigned to 14 different phases of the Tell el-Daba excavation, spanning 600 yr (about 2000–1400 BC). On the one hand, the recently established agreement between 14C dates and dynastic Egypt (Bronk Ramsey et al. 2010) makes it unlikely that the problem lies in the 14C dates and/or the Egyptian historical chronology. On the other hand, the extensive archaeological evidence from Tell el-Daba linked to many different cultures in the eastern Mediterranean and to the Egyptian historical chronology provides strong evidence for an absolute chronology shifted by about 120 yr with respect to the 14C dates.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © 2012 by the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona 

References

Baillie, MGI. 2010. Volcanoes, ice-cores and tree-rings: one story or two? Antiquity 84(323):202–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Baillie, MGI, Munro, AR. 1988. Irish tree rings, Santorini and volcanic dust veils. Nature 332(6162):344–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Balter, M. 2006. New carbon dates support revised history of ancient Mediterranean. Science 312(5773):508–9.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Bietak, M. 1975. Tell el-Daba II. Der Fundort im Rahmen einer archäologisch-geographischen Untersuchuing über das ägyptische Ostdelta. Untersuchungen der Zweigstelle Kairo des Österreichischen Archäologischen Instituts, Bd. II. Denkschriften der Gesamtakademie der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften Bd. IV. Vienna.Google Scholar
Bietak, M. 2012. Antagonisms in historical and radiocarbon chronology. In: Shortland, AJ, Bronk Ramsey, C, editors. Radiocarbon and the Chronologies of Ancient Egypt. Oxford: Oxbow. In press.Google Scholar
Bietak, M, Höflmayer, F. 2007. Introduction: high and low chronology. In: Bietak, M, Czerny, E, editors. The Synhronisation of Civilisations in the Eastern Mediterranean in the Second Millennium BC – III. Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences. p 1327.Google Scholar
Bietak, M, Forstner-Müller, I, van Koppen, F, Radner, K. 2009. Der Hyksos-Palast bei Tell el-Daba. Zweite und Dritte Grabungskampagne (Frühling 2008 und Frühling 2009). Egypt and the Levant 19:91119.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bronk Ramsey, C. 2009a. Bayesian analysis of radiocarbon dates. Radiocarbon 51(1):337–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bronk Ramsey, C. 2009b. Dealing with outliers and offsets in radiocarbon dating. Radiocarbon 51(3):1023–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bronk Ramsey, C, Dee, MW, Rowland, JM, Higham, TFG, Harris, SA, Brock, F, Quiles, A, Wild, EM, Marcus, ES, Shortland, AJ. 2010. Radiocarbon-based chronology for dynastic Egypt. Science 328(5985):1554–7.Google ScholarPubMed
Bruins, HJ. 2010. Dating pharaonic Egypt. Science 328(5985):1489–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bruins, HJ, MacGillivray, A, Synolakis, CE, Benjamini, C, Keller, J, Kisch, HJ, Klügel, A, van der Plicht, J. 2008. Geoarchaeological tsunami deposits at Palaikastro (Crete) and the Late Minoan IA eruption of Santorini. Journal of Archaeological Science 35(1):191212.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bruins, HJ, van der Plicht, J, MacGillivray, JA. 2009. The Minoan Santorini eruption and tsunami deposits in Palaikastro (Crete): dating by geology, archaeology, 14C, and Egyptian chronology. Radiocarbon 51(2):397411.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bruns, M, Levin, I, Münnich, KO, Hubberten, HW, Fillipakis, S. 1980. Regional sources of volcanic carbon dioxide and their influence on 14C content of present-day plant material. Radiocarbon 22(2):532–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dee, MW, Brock, F, Harris, SA, Bronk Ramsey, C, Shortland, AJ, Higham, TFG, Rowland, JM. 2010. Investigating the likelihood of a reservoir offset in the radiocarbon record for ancient Egypt. Journal of Archaeological Science 37(4):687–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dellinger, F, Kutschera, W, Nicolussi, K, Schießling, P, Steier, P, Wild, EM. 2004. A 14C calibration with AMS from 3500 to 3000 BC, derived from a high-elevation stone-pine tree-ring chronology. Radiocarbon 46(2):969–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Denton, JS, Pearce, NJG. 2008. Comment on “A synchronized dating of three Greenland ice cores throughout the Holocene” by B. M. Vinther et al.: no Minoan tephra in the 1642 B.C. layer of the GRIP ice core. Journal of Geophysical Research 113: D04303.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ford, CR, Wurzburger, N, Hendrick, RL, Teskey, RO. 2007. Soil DIC uptake and fixation in Pinus teada seedlings and its C contribution to plant tissues and ectomycorrhizal fungi. Tree Physiology 27(3):375–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Friedrich, WL, Kromer, B, Friedrich, M, Heinemeier, J, Pfeiffer, T, Talamo, S. 2006. Santorini eruption radiocarbon dated to 1627–1600 B.C. Science 312(5773):548.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Friedrich, WL, Kromer, B, Friedrich, M, Heinemeier, J, Pfeiffer, T, Talamo, S. 2009. Santorini eruption radiocarbon dated to 1627–1600 BC: further discussion. In: Manning, SW, Bruce, MJ, editors. Tree-Rings, Kings, and Old World Archaeology and Environment. Oxford: Oxbow Books. p 293–8.Google Scholar
Frisia, S, Badertscher, S, Borsato, A, Susini, J, Göktürk, OM, Cheng, H, Edwards, RL, Kramers, J, Tüysüz, O, Fleitmann, D. 2008. The use of stalagmite geochemistry to detect past volcanic eruptions and their environmental impacts. PAGES News 16(3):25–6.Google Scholar
LaMarche, VC Jr, Hirschboeck, KK. 1984. Frost rings in trees as records of major volcanic eruptions. Nature 307(5947):121–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Manning, SW, Bronk Ramsey, C, Kutschera, W, Higham, T, Kromer, B, Steier, P, Wild, EM. 2006. Chronology for the Aegean Late Bronze Age 1700–1400 B.C. Science 312(5773):565–9.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Manning, SW, Bronk Ramsey, C, Kutschera, W, Higham, T, Kromer, B, Steier, P, Wild, EM. 2009a. Dating Santorini/Thera eruption by radiocarbon: further discussion (AD 2006–2007). In: Manning, SW, Bruce, MJ, editors. Tree-Rings, Kings, and Old World Archaeology and Environment. Oxford: Oxbow Books. p 299316.Google Scholar
Manning, SW, Pulak, C, Kromer, B, Talamo, S, Bronk Ramsey, C, Dee, M. 2009b. Absolute age of the Uluburun shipwreck: a key Late Bronze Age time-capsule for the East Mediterranean. In: Manning, SW, Bruce, MJ, editors. Tree-Rings, Kings, and Old World Archaeology and Environment. Oxford: Oxbow Books. p 163–87.Google Scholar
Manning, SW, Kromer, B, Bronk Ramsey, C, Pearson, CL, Talamo, S, Trano, N, Watkins, JD. 2010. 14C record and wiggle-match placement for the Anatolian (Gordion area) juniper tree-ring chronology ∼1729 to 751 cal BC, and typical Aegean/Anatolian (growing season related) regional 14C offset assessment. Radiocarbon 52(4):1571–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Manning, SW, Kromer, B. 2011. Radiocarbon dating archaeological samples in the Eastern Mediterranean, 1730 to 1480 BC: further exploring the atmospheric radiocarbon calibration record and the archaeological implications. Archaeometry 53(2):413–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Manning, SW, Kromer, B. 2012. Considerations of the scale of radiocarbon offsets in the east Mediterranean, and considering a case for the latest (most recent) likely date for the Santorini eruption. Radiocarbon, these proceedings.Google Scholar
Pasquier-Cardin, A, Allard, P, Ferreira, T, Hatte, C, Coutinho, R, Fontugne, M, Jaudon, M. 1999. Magma-derived CO2 emissions recorded in 14C and 13C content of plants growing in Furnas caldera, Azores. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 92(1–2):195207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Reimer, PJ, Baillie, MGL, Bard, E, Bayliss, A, Beck, JW, Blackwell, PG, Bronk Ramsey, C, Buck, CE, Burr, GS, Edwards, RL, Friedrich, M, Grootes, PM, Guilderson, TP, Hajdas, I, Heaton, TJ, Hogg, AG, Hughen, KA, Kaiser, KF, Kromer, B, McCormac, FG, Manning, SW, Reimer, RW, Richards, DA, Southon, JR, Talamo, S, Turney, CSM, van der Plicht, J, Weyhenmeyer, CE. 2009. IntCal09 and Marine09 radiocarbon age calibration curves, 0–50,000 years cal BP. Radiocarbon 51(4):1111–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Salzer, MW, Hughes, MK. 2007. Bristlecone pine tree rings and volcanic eruptions over the last 5000 yr. Quaternary Research 67(1):5768.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Shaw, I, editor. 2000. The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Steier, P, Dellinger, F, Kutschera, W, Priller, A, Rom, W, Wild, EM. 2004. Pushing the precision limit of 14C AMS. Radiocarbon 46(1):516.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Steinhauser, G, Sterba, JH, Bichler, M, Huber, H. 2006. Neutron activation analysis of Mediterranean volcanic rocks – an analytical database for archaeological stratigraphy. Applied Geochemistry 21(8):1362–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Steinhauser, G, Sterba, JH, Oren, E, Foster, M, Bichler, M. 2010. Provenancing of archaeological pumice finds from North Sinai. Naturwissenschaften 97(4):403–10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sterba, JH, Polinger Foster, K, Steinhauser, G, Bichler, M. 2009. New light on old pumice: the origins of Mediterranean volcanic material from ancient Egypt. Journal of Archaeological Science 36(8):1738–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Stuiver, M, Polach, HA. 1977. Discussion: reporting of 14C data. Radiocarbon 19(3):355–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tauber, H. 1983. Possible depletion of 14C in trees growing in calcareous soils. Radiocarbon 25(2):417–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tronchère, H, Salomon, F, Callot, Y, Goiran, J-P, Schmitt, L, Forstner-Müller, I, Bietak, M. 2008. Geoarchaeology of Avaris: first results. Egypt and the Levant 18:339–52.Google Scholar
Vinther, BM, Clausen, HB, Johnses, SJ, Rasmussen, SO, Andersen, KK, Buchardt, SL, Dahl-Jensen, D, Seierstad, IK, Siggard-Andersen, M-L, Steffensen, JP, Sevensson, A. 2006. A synchronized dating of three Greenland ice cores throughout the Holocene. Journal of Geophysical Research 111: D13102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Vogel, JS, Southon, JR, Nelson, DE, Brown, TA. 1984. Performance of catalytically condensed carbon for use in accelerator mass spectrometry. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research B 5(2):289–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Warren, P. 2009. The date of the Late Bronze Age eruption of Santorini. In: Warburton, DA, editor. Time's Up! Dating the Minoan Eruption of Santorini. Athens: The Danish Institute at Athens. p 181–6.Google Scholar
Wiener, MH. 2009. Cold fusion: the uneasy alliance of history and science. In: Manning, SW, Bruce, MJ, editors. Tree-Rings, Kings, and Old World Archaeology and Environment. Oxford: Oxbow Books. p 277–92.Google Scholar
Wild, EM, Neugebauer-Maresch, C, Einwögerer, T, Stadler, P, Steier, P, Brock, F. 2008. 14C dating of the Upper Paleolithic site at Krems-Hundssteig in Lower Austria. Radiocarbon 50(1):110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wild, EM, Gauß, W, Forstenpointner, G, Lindblom, M, Smetana, R, Steier, P, Thanheiser, U, Weninger, F. 2010. 14C dating of the Early to Late Bronze Age stratigraphic sequence of Aegina Kolonna, Greece. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research B 268(7–8):1013–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
You have Access

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

The Chronology of Tell El-Daba: A Crucial Meeting Point of 14C Dating, Archaeology, and Egyptology in the 2nd Millennium BC
Available formats
×

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

The Chronology of Tell El-Daba: A Crucial Meeting Point of 14C Dating, Archaeology, and Egyptology in the 2nd Millennium BC
Available formats
×

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

The Chronology of Tell El-Daba: A Crucial Meeting Point of 14C Dating, Archaeology, and Egyptology in the 2nd Millennium BC
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response


Your details


Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *