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The Date of the Minoan Santorini Eruption: Quantifying the “Offset”

Felix Höflmayer

Abstract


Despite many recent attempts to settle the dispute concerning the absolute date of the Minoan Santorini eruption, there are still differences between some archaeologists and scientists on the absolute dates and the reliability of radiocarbon dating. The recent publication of over 200 new 14C dates for dynastic Egypt rules out a major flaw in the historical chronology of Egypt and proves the reliability of 14C dating in the Nile Valley. Therefore, the student of Aegean archaeology and eastern Mediterranean interconnections is still confronted with an archaeologically based conventional, or “low,” chronology and a 14C-backed “high” chronology. New 14C determinations from different sites of the Aegean support the high chronology for the Late Minoan (LM) IA, while recent re-evaluation of LM IB determinations are slightly higher but more or less in agreement with archaeological estimations. The present contribution reviews archaeological and scientific data for the LM IA period and argues that a reduced (~30 to 50 yr) offset between archaeological and 14C dates for the Minoan Santorini eruption may be possible, thus offering new perspectives for potential solutions for this problem.

DOI: 10.2458/azu_js_rc.v54i3–4.16157


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