The University of Arizona

Iron Age Mediterranean Chronology: A Rejoinder

Alexander Fantalkin, Israel Finkelstein, Eli Piasetzky

Abstract


This article is a rejoinder to a recent paper in this journal by van der Plicht et al. (2009) who use radiocarbon determinations from several sites in Israel, Italy, Spain, and Tunisia to advocate a High Chronology system for the entire Mediterranean Basin. We contend that they reached mistaken conclusions due to problematic selection of sites and data. We argue that a reliable way to provide absolute dates for the Iron Age in the central and western Mediterranean is by employing a combination of well-identified Greek pottery found in well-stratified sites and radiometric results from short-lived samples. For the time being, this combination exists only in the Levant, and provides an anchor for Greek chronology, which supports the Conventional Chronology for the Aegean Basin, which corresponds to the Low Chronology in the Levant.

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