the middle bronze age in mainland greece dating methods
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The Middle Bronze Age in Mainland Greece & Dating Methods. Bronze Age Chronology. Crete Minoan (Minos - mythical king) Cyclades Cycladic (Aegean island chain) Mainland Helladic (Hellas = Greece) Early EBA EM EC EH (3100-2000) Middle MBA MM MC MH (2000-1650)

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bronze age chronology
Bronze Age Chronology

Crete Minoan (Minos - mythical king)

Cyclades Cycladic (Aegean island chain)

Mainland Helladic (Hellas = Greece)

  • Early EBA EM EC EH (3100-2000)
  • Middle MBA MM MC MH (2000-1650)
  • Late LBA LM LC LH (1650-1050)
alternative minoan chronology palaces of knossos phaistos mallia zakro
Alternative Minoan Chronology (Palaces of Knossos, Phaistos, Mallia & Zakro)
  • Pre-palatial EM I - MM IA

(ca. 3100/3000-1925/1900 B.C.)

  • Protopalatial (Old Palace) MM IB - MM IIB

(ca. 1925/1900-1750/1720 B.C.)

  • Neopalatial (New Palace) MM IIIA - LM IB

(ca. 1750/1720-1490/1470 B.C.)

  • Post-palatial LM IIIA-C

(ca. 1490/1470-1075/1050 B.C.)

dating techniques
Carbon-14 (radiation emission)

Thermoluminescence Dating (radiation reception)

Obsidian Hydration (post-flaking water absorption, but temperature, chemical variation)

Pollen Dating

Deep-Sea Cores

Ice Cores


Stratigraphic Sequence (later on top of older)

Typological Sequence

Dating Techniques
carbon 14 dating
Carbon-14 dating

C-14 dating can determine the age of organic material up to 40,000 years old.

  • Living organisms absorb carbon.
  • C-14 decays at known rate.
  • After burning a small piece of a sample, scientists compare the amount of unstable, decaying Carbon-14 to the amount of stable Carbon-12 to determine the age of the organic matter
carbon 14 myth and archaeology
Carbon-14, Myth and Archaeology
  • The Shroud of Turin: the burial garment of Jesus?
  • 1988 study, C-14 tests showed that the cloth dated from some time between 1260 and 1390. This ruled it out as the possible burial cloth that wrapped the body of Christ.
  • Cardinal of Turin admitted the garment was a hoax.
  • Shroud damaged in several fires since first recorded in 1357, including church blaze in 1532.
  • Said to have been restored by nuns who patched holes and stitched the shroud to reinforcing material.
  • chemical tests may indicate material used in the 1988 radiocarbon analysis was cut from medieval patch woven into the shroud to repair fire damage!
  • Was C-14 test performed on later repair work, not on original material of shroud?
shroud real
Shroud real?

Church very hesitant, very reluctant to do

further tests,

because they\'ve

been given so many conflicting opinions

thermoluminescence dating
Thermoluminescence dating
  • Thermoluminsecence is the luminescence of minerals giving off stored nuclear energy when heated.
  • not generally accurate enough for archaeological standards
  • simple authenticity tests of art object
  • dates items between the years


obsidian hydration dating
Volcanic glass

Sharper than surgical steel

Blades, tools (cutting crops, projectile points, drills, etc.)

Water absorption “rind”

Two uses:

relative dating method: a older than b

absolute dating method where a calendar date (AD/BC) is produced

Obsidian Hydration dating
pollen dating
Pollen Dating
  • Palynology: the study of pollen & spores
  • Pollen deposits such in lakes, etc., supply a sequential record of changes in vegetation since the last Ice Age
  • Pollen analysis of lakes and bogs to study humans as agents of vegetation change rather than causes such as climate
deep sea core dating
Deep Sea Core Dating
  • oceanic sediments retrieved by the core yields information on temperature changes in the ocean through time.
  • changes, suggestive of climatic variation, help chart progress of glaciation and, since they can be dated, the technique assists in the establishment of a chronology for the Quaternary.
ice core dating
Ice Core Dating
  • polar ice caps contain layers of compacted ice
  • continuous record of snow accumulation, air temperature, and fallout from volcanic, terrestrial, marine, cosmic, and anthropogenic sources
  • reconstruction of paleoenvironments & paleoclimatology and as a method of absolute dating
  • Record of more than 300,000 years
  • samples of ancient atmospheres are trapped in air bubbles within the ice
  • 6000 years in a core more than two kilometres in depth, with an excellent level of reliability within around 50 years
ice cores for ba aegean
Some layers of ice contain high levels of dust and acidity caused by volcanic eruptions.

historical eruptions, e.g. Krakatoa (1883) or Vesuvius (AD 79), can be correlated with ice-cores

further undocumented eruptions in prehistoric times may also be detected.

Ice Cores for BA Aegean
Typological Sequence



Barbed & Tanged?

early helladic pottery
(a) saucer, EHII

(b) sauceboat, EHII

(c) askos, EHII

(d) plate, EHII-III

(e) tankard, patterned ware, EHIII

(f) 2-handled bowl, EHIII

Early Helladic Pottery
mh pottery
a) ring-stemmed goblet, Grey Minyan ware

(b) kantharos, Grey Minyan ware

(c) barrel jar, Aiginetan Matt-painted ware

(d) kantharos, Matt-painted ware

(e) Matt-painted cup, with ‘panelled’ style of decoration;

(f) jug, Mainland Polychrome style

MH Pottery