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A Radiocarbon Chronology for the Middle Bronze Age Southern Levant

Felix Höflmayer


For a long time, absolute calendrical dates for the Middle Bronze Age southern Levant were based on very general correlations with the historical chronology of Egypt (the Traditional Chronology). A significantly lower chronology was proposed from the 1980s onwards, mainly based on the excavation at Tell el-Dabaa (ancient Avaris) in the eastern Nile Delta (the Low Chronology). However, in recent years, radiocarbon sequences for several Middle Bronze Age sites have become available that challenge the Traditional as well as the Low Chronology and suggest a significantly higher dating for the Middle Bronze Age phases. This paper summarizes the radiocarbon evidence for the Middle Bronze Age chronology and proposes a new chronological framework for the Middle Bronze Age southern Levant.

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