Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Is C-14 dating miscalibrated for the southern Levant?

TECHNOLOGY WATCH: New radiocarbon cycle research may alter history (Daniel Aloi, Cornell Chronicle).
Archaeologist Sturt Manning and colleagues have revealed variations in the radiocarbon cycle at certain periods of time, affecting frequently cited standards used in archaeological and historical research relevant to the southern Levant region (Israel, southern Jordan and Egypt). These variations, or offsets, of up to 20 years in the calibration of precise radiocarbon dating could be related to climatic conditions.
For ancient Israel and Second Temple Judaism, twenty years one way or another usually won't make a significant difference for historical purposes. But sometimes it might. And for ancient Egypt, whose chronology is known more precisely, it could make a difference more often.

Another recent story dealing with a different effort to recalibrate radiocarbon dating was noted here. [UPDATE: bad link now corrected. Sorry about that!]

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