Centuries of Darkness: A Challenge to the Conventional Chronology of Old World Archaeology

Overview

he authors of this text, originally published in England in 1991, are young scholars who present no less than a "chronological revolution." After tracing the development of Old World chronology, James and his colleagues review archaeological evidence and the lack of it from the Dark Age, the centuries-long period at the end of the Late Bronze Age c.1200 B.C. They include a wide geographical area—as far east as Iran and south to Nubia. Challenging the accepted Egyptian chronology, they argue for lower dates, which...

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Overview

he authors of this text, originally published in England in 1991, are young scholars who present no less than a "chronological revolution." After tracing the development of Old World chronology, James and his colleagues review archaeological evidence and the lack of it from the Dark Age, the centuries-long period at the end of the Late Bronze Age c.1200 B.C. They include a wide geographical area—as far east as Iran and south to Nubia. Challenging the accepted Egyptian chronology, they argue for lower dates, which would instead put the end of the Late Bronze Age around 950 B.C., thus essentially eliminating the so-called Dark Age. The authors have done a masterful job of drawing together an enormous range of evidence; their conclusion is persuasive. Their challenge to Egyptian chronology cannot be ignored, and Egyptologists will have to address the flaws that they demonstrate. For students of ancient history and archaeology.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The authors of this text, originally published in England in 1991, are young scholars who present no less than a ``chronological revolution.'' After tracing the development of Old World chronology, James and his colleagues review archaeological evidence and the lack of it from the Dark Age, the centuries-long period at the end of the Late Bronze Age c.1200 B.C. They include a wide geographical area--as far east as Iran and south to Nubia. Challenging the accepted Egyptian chronology, they argue for lower dates, which would instead put the end of the Late Bronze Age around 950 B.C., thus essentially eliminating the so-called Dark Age. The authors have done a masterful job of drawing together an enormous range of evidence; their conclusion is persuasive. Their challenge to Egyptian chronology cannot be ignored, and Egyptologists will have to address the flaws that they demonstrate. For students of ancient history and archaeology.-- Joan Gartland, Detroit P.L., Detroit, Mich.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813519500
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/1993
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 434
  • Product dimensions: 6.34 (w) x 9.46 (h) x 1.58 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Foreword
Preface
1 The Evolution of Old World Chronology 1
2 To the Pillars of Heracles 27
3 Beware the Greeks Bearing Gifts 56
4 The Dark Age Mysteries of Greece 68
5 The Foundations of Geometric Chronology 95
6 Redating the Hittite Empire 113
7 Cyprus, Ceramics and Controversy 142
8 Biblical Archaeology Without Egypt 162
9 The Empty Years of Nubian History 204
10 Egypt: The Centre of the Problem 220
11 Riddles of Mesopotamian Archaeology 261
12 The Exaggeration of Antiquity 291
13 The End of the Dark Ages? 311
Appendix 1: Dendrochronology and Radiocarbon Dating 321
Appendix 2: Greek and Roman Theories on Ancient Chronology 326
Appendix 3: The 'Venus Tablets' of Ammizaduga and the dating of the 1st Dynasty of Babylon 335
Appendix 4: Synchronisms between Egypt, Mesopotamia and the Hittites during the Late Bronze Age 340
Notes and references 345
Bibliography 395
Index 427
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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2000

    Read This Book!

    I'm a lay reader with an interest in history. This is not some freako book about men from outer space building the pyramids. Instead, it not only gives a lot of insight into how archaeologists and historians do what they do, but it also says a lot about how we know what we know about history. The period of history in question is not one that has a large lay following (as for instance, the Civil War period does), but it is nontheless an interesting period. This so-called 'dark age' interfaces with biblical history, the Trojan war, etc. Lots of stuff was going on, and little is known about it. I have given it my coveted fifth star. Even though there are a few places where the argument becomes a little confusing, the writing is generally clear, and there are plenty of maps and diagrams to help. The authors have a website which gives updates of the ebb and flow of the debate in scholarly circles. I'm not a professional historian, but the authors have made a clear and convincing argument as far as I can see. If they are correct, this theory will do for history what continental drift did for geology.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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