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Hallstatt Plateau

23 March 2018

In the February issue of Current Archaeology we have another interesting post at 'Science Notes' (page 12) on C14 dating methodology – and how it has improved considerably over the years. This is a point studiously ignored by most revisionists but of course everything is not necessarily as rosy as mainstream would allow. The dating of bones is one field where greater success has been achieved – and part 2 of this will tell us a lot more (in the next issue of Current Archaeology). In spite of increasing sophistication in technique there are still a number of problems where C14 simply cannot define a reliable date. The chief problem is the plateau events – and there are a surprising number of them. These are the result of the production of C14 in the atmosphere, 'throughout history there have been periods when the atmospheric level of C14 has remained constant, without fluctuation …'. These are called plateau events and it is not always easy to decide on the cause of them. They do not provide a list of plateaus and we know from Mike Baillie that one occurred in the 13th century AD (albeit not a great one). What they do is mention a rather long plateau event, between 800 and 400BC. This is defined as a period where getting exact C14 dates is a challenge as the C14 plateau is more or less constant and therefore a wider range of dates has to be taken into consideration. One may note this is where Velikovsky chose to locate his Mars catastrophes (possibly a reference to comets rather than a wayward planet) and dendrochronology also appears to have an anomaly. This can best be gaged by going to the Larsson web site – and the possibility the plateau event actually caused a gap in chronology (possibly on the order of around 150 years). We may also note this was also the point where the original calibration curve diverged from old C14 data. It may also account for the problematic Nineveh C14 date. Likewise, it may also account for a dearth of archaeology in the Early to Mid Iron Age in Britain. One can see how an anomaly crept into the system as tree rings and C14 were entwined during the calibration, each supporting the other. This is not to say there is a gap in the chronology and even if there was it would not necessarily manifest itself at the same point in time in the various locations that have texts and documents recording historical events. For example, in the Aegean such a gap would have been preserved in the Dark Age and the same would be true of Assyro-Babylonia (multiple dynasties as the Middle Assyrian Period came to a close). In Europe it would necessarily be more closely associated with the lack of trees bridging the Iron Age gap (and so on). It's a moot point and would be best served by a bit of rooting around if only to prove the mainstream chronology was firm.

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