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Time's Up! Dating the Minoan eruption of Santorini

Acts of the Minoan Eruption Chronology Workshop, Sandbjerg November 2007

A part of the series Monographs of the Danish Institute at Athens (10) og the subject areas , , , , og

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298 pages ill.
ISBN 978 87 7934 024 4

Edited by


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About the book

The volcanic eruption of Santorini was the greatest in historical times. Assigned to the Late Minoan IA period, archaeological correlations implied a date late in the 16th century BC. Yet indirect natural science evidence suggested a date in the 17th century. The dating ceased to be indirect when branches of olive trees were found buried in the debris of the eruption. The radiocarbon Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) dating technique and the intcal04 calibration curve suggested a two-sigma range date between 1600 and 1627 BC.

The debate continues; the papers here cover the radiocarbon results, the ice cores, the geology, and the archaeology, offering in-depth access to a controversy linking the natural sciences and the humanities.

Aside from volcanologists, it will interest scholars of Bronze Age Aegean archaeology, the chronology of the eastern Mediterranean in the second millennium BC, archaeological methodology, the principles of radiocarbon dating and its application to Bronze Age sources.

Table of contents

9     Scientific & technical organizing committee

10   List of contributors

13   Editor's preface

       David A. Warburton

15   Bibliography

53   General introduction

       David A. Warburton

56   The Minoan eruption of Santorini radiocarbon dated to  

      1613 +/- 13 BC

       Walter L. Friedrich & Jan Heinemeier

65   Part I: Evidence, geology, archaeology & chronology

67   Volcanic chronology of Santorini

       Alexander R. McBirney

73   The eruption within the debate about the date

       Floyd W. McCoy

91   The effects of the Minoan eruption

       Walter L. Friedrich & Nikolaos Sigalas

101 Evidence from Pseira for the Santorini eruption

       Philip P. Betancourt

107 The impact of the Minoan eruption of Santorini on Mochlos

       Jeffrey S. Soles

117 Papadiokambos: new evidence for the impact of the

      Theran eruption

       Thomas M. Brogan & Chrysa Sofianou

125 The basis for the Egyptian dates

       Rolf Krauss & David A. Warburton

145 How uncertain is Mesopotamian chronology?

       Hermann hunger

153 Part II: Debate: typology, chronology, methodology

154 Thera, Hatshepsut, and the Keftiu: crisis and response

       J. Alexander MacGillivray

171 The Thera eruption and Egypt: pumice, texts and


       Karen Polinger Foster, Johannes H. Sterba, Georg

       Steinhauser & Max Bichler

181  The date of the Late Bronze Age eruption of Santorini

       Peter Warren

187 Aegean-Egyptian synchronisms and radiocarbon chronology

       Felix Höflmayer

197 The state of the debate about the date of the Theran


       Malcolm H. Wiener

207 Beyond the Santorini eruption

       Sturt W. Manning

227 The dating of the earlier Late Minoan IA period

       Sturt W. Manning & Christopher Bronk Ramsey

247 Chronological conundrums: Cypriot and Levantine imports

       from Thera

       Robert Merrillees

253 The chronology of Tell el-Ajjul, Gaza

       Peter M. Fischer

267 An update on the chronological value of Minoica in the

       Levant and Cyprus

       Annette Højen Sørensen

275  14C and 10Be around 1650 cal BC

       Raimund Muscheler

285  The Minoan eruption of Santorini radiocarbon dated

       Jan Heinemeier, Walter L. Friedrich, Bernd Kromer &

       Christopher Bronk Ramsey

295  Epilogue

       David A. Warburton

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