Archaeomagnetism, Radiocarbon Dating, and the Problem of Circular Reasoning in Chronological Debates: A Reply to Stillinger et al. 2016

Radiocarbon calibration curve (INTCAL13) for the eleventh–ninth centuries BCE.

Radiocarbon calibration curve (INTCAL13) for the eleventh–ninth centuries
BCE.

Near Eastern Archaeology Vol. 79, No. 4, December 2016 article, “Archaeomagnetism, Radiocarbon Dating, and the Problem of Circular Reasoning in Chronological Debates: A Reply to Stillinger et al. 2016,” by Katharina Streit (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) and Felix Höflmayer (Institute for Oriental and European Archaeology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences).

In the June 2016 issue of Near Eastern Archaeology, Michele D. Stillinger, James W. Hardin, Joshua M. Feinberg, and Jeffrey A. Blakely published a paper entitled “Archaeomagnetism as a Complementary Dating Technique to Address the Iron Age Chronology Debate in the Levant” (Stillinger et al. 2016) in which the authors argue that archaeomagnetism “can provide a complementary dating tool to build a stronger, more robust chronology for the Iron Age” (90). The authors suggest here that their paper is overly optimistic regarding the potential of archaeomagnetism as a means for refining the Iron Age chronology of the Levant. Further, their approach is in fact based on circular reasoning, seriously constraining the potential use of this dating methodology. Despite the fact that other absolute dating techniques would be highly desirable for providing absolute (calendrical) dates for the Iron Age, the authors argue that radiocarbon dating and Bayesian analysis of radiocarbon determinations will remain the most useful and reliable dating methodology in the foreseeable future.

NEA-Blog-Promotion_RadiocarbonDating

Sign in to view all ASOR Blog content!
If you have not set up a username and password for the ASOR Blog, please close this box by clicking anywhere on the screen then go to the Friends of ASOR option in the menu above. If you have forgotten your password, please click the Forgot Login Password option in the above menu.