Stretching the Dark Age

11 Oct 2014

At ... the Greek Bronze Age ended 100 years earlier than thought according to a Bayesian averaging of C14 dates undertaken in a recent study. It was a fairly comprehensive exercise by the sound of it - but there was perhaps a nefarious undercurrent at the same time as it was designed to fit in with the chronology advocated by those who would date the Thera eruption to the low growth tree ring event (and ice core acidity anomaly) around 1625BC.

This kind of measurement is not a lot of point unless the adjacent regions are also redated by a comprehensive Bayesian process. The whole of the Near East and Egypt, as well as interior Europe and the Indus Valley requires a similar up to date Bayesian take on Bronze Age destruction levels - otherwise it is all pie in the sky, completely unjoined thinking. It's okay taking your theory to the limits - but throwing one region up in isolation is a pointless exercise. The chronology of surrounding regions becomes skewed - a misfit, or mismatch if you like. What the Bayesian study has done is throw into question the C14 dating process itself - or rather, the calibration model. Orthodox chronology has been thrown up in the air by insisting Thera erupted in 1625BC. They might think they have science on their side but who is going to lengthen the history of Egypt and the Near East in order to fit the science - as mainstream chronologists may just not bother with any of it. Hopefully, the new study will cause a rethink into the calibration methodology - which is long overdue (but don't hold your breath).