The University of Arizona

Iron Age Chronology in Israel: Results from Modeling with a Trapezoidal Bayesian Framework

Sharen Lee, Christopher Bronk Ramsey, Amihai Mazar


Bayesian methods have been widely used to address the Iron Age chronological debate in Israel, which has implications for the entire eastern Mediterranean Iron Age chronology. However, a consensus has not been reached. This is largely because radiocarbon dates of materials in this period lie on an oscillation in the calibration curve. This study focuses on the modeling of 14C dates from the Iron I and Iron II periods, discusses the underlying assumptions and limitations of existing Bayesian chronologies, and proposes the use of a more appropriate model that allows for the phase transitions not being instantaneous. The new trapezoidal model sheds light on the probable duration of the transitions between the Iron Age phases.

DOI: 10.2458/azu_js_rc.55.16213

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