Topic ID #7936 - posted 6/22/2010 4:45 AM

Radiocarbon Dating Helps to Nail Down the Chronology of Egyptian Kings

Jennifer Palmer

Constraining the Reign of Ancient Egypt: Radiocarbon Dating Helps to Nail Down the Chronology of Kings, Researchers Say

ScienceDaily (June 18, 2010) — For several thousands of years, ancient Egypt dominated the Mediterranean world -- and scholars across the globe have spent more than a century trying to document the reigns of the various rulers of Egypt's Old, Middle and New Kingdoms. Now, a detailed radiocarbon analysis of short-lived plant remains from the region is providing scientists with a long and accurate chronology of ancient Egyptian dynasties that agrees with most previous estimates but also imposes some historic revisions.

Although previous chronologies have been precise in relative ways, assigning absolute dates to specific events in ancient Egyptian history has been an extremely contentious undertaking. This new study tightly constrains those previous predictions, especially for the Old Kingdom, which was determined to be slightly older than some scholars had believed. The study will also allow for more accurate historical comparisons to surrounding areas, like Libya and Sudan, which have been subject to many radiocarbon dating techniques in the past.

Read the rest of the article here.

Post ID#17791 - replied 6/22/2010 4:46 PM


There are at least two caveats in the 'fine print' in this story that really makes their conclusions wishful hoping.  In general, C14 dating has so many "corrections" or "calibrations" that have to be made for dates, the intervals are not all that useful for specific recorded history dates. The fact that the same plant material grown in the same dirt in the same place in Egypt for EACH supposed dynasty was not tested makes this an interesting exercise, but hardly enough to draw any conclusion let alone their profound, "absolute dates" (really intervals).

Finally, they slip in stating that there also is another, unique problem with testing the plants from the Nile valley.

Egyptian chronology is a real, significant problem; just try comparing it to Hittite and Mesopotamian chronologies!  Resolution is needed, but for these people to use this type of stuff to make this claim is insulting.

Ugh; I just hate headline hunters.


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