Skip to comments.Olive branch solves a Bronze Age mystery
Posted on 04/28/2006 5:59:40 AM PDT by The_Victor
WASHINGTON - Compared to the well-studied world of Homers Iliad and Odyssey, the civilizations that flourished in the eastern Mediterranean just before Homers time are still cloaked in mystery.
Even the basic chronology of the region during this time has been heatedly debated. Now, a resolution has finally emerged -- initiated, quite literally, by an olive branch.
Scientists have discovered the remains of a single olive tree, buried alive during a massive volcanic eruption during the Late Bronze Age. A study that dates this tree, plus another study that dates a series of objects from before, during and after the eruption, now offer a new timeline for one of the earliest chapters of European civilization.
The new results suggest that the sophisticated and powerful Minoan civilization (featured in the legend of Theseus and the Minotaur) and several other pre-Homeric civilizations arose about a century earlier and lasted for longer than previously thought.
The new timeframe also downplays Egypts role in the region, suggesting that the cultures of the Levant, the stretch of land that includes Syria, Israel and Palestine, may have been a more important outside influence.
The pair of studies appears in the 28 April issue of the journal Science, published by AAAS, the nonprofit science society.
(Excerpt) Read more at msnbc.msn.com ...
ARCHAEOLOGY: New Carbon Dates Support Revised History of Ancient Mediterranean
Science Magazine | 4/28/2006 | Michael Balter
Posted on 04/27/2006 7:59:30 PM EDT by Lessismore
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I read the article and I don't think this will resolve things that fast. Apparently there are stubborn supporters for both sides!
"It happened that at this very time Theras, son of Autesion (whose father Tisamenus was the son of Thersander, and grandson of Polynices), was about to lead out a colony from Lacedaemon. This Theras, by birth a Cadmeian, was uncle on the mother's side to the two sons of Aristodemus, Procles and Eurysthenes, and, during their infancy, administered in their right the royal power. When his nephews, however, on attaining to man's estate, took the government, Theras, who could not bear to be under the authority of others after he had wielded authority so long himself, resolved to leave Sparta and cross the sea to join his kindred. There were in the island now called Thera, but at that time Calliste, certain descendants of Membliarus, the son of Poeciles, a Phoenician. (For Cadmus, the son of Agenor, when he was sailing in search of Europe, made a landing on this island; and, either because the country pleased him, or because he had a purpose in so doing, left there a number of Phoenicians, and with them his own kinsman Membliarus. Calliste had been inhabited by this race for eight generations of men, before the arrival of Theras from Lacedaemon.)"
Thanks for the link to the original.
Yeah, that will happen. The more the merrier.
207 BC? Aw, that's just a coincidence... ;') There is one eruption attested in surviving ancient sources (and Herodotus isn't it -- he has quite a lot about the island) -- circa 199 BC. Here's something additional on the topic:A Proper Dating of the Linear B TabletsWhile there is general agreement that the language of the Linear B tablets was Greek, many words lack clear cut Greek etymologies and have not been satisfactorily translated. This has led to suggestions that the tablets may contain a sort of jargon combining several languages. I will demonstrate the equivalence of the Mycenaean terms ko-re-te, po-ko-re-te, e-qu-ta, and ra-wa-ke-ta [with] the Latin terms curator, procurator, equite, and legatus and discuss other evidence suggesting that Latin was included in the Linear B tablets. I am not disputing that Mycenaean is a Greek tongue; however, the scribes who prepared these tablets were also using, to a limited extent, certain Latin terms and constructions.
by Jesse E. Lasken
ESOP 1993 v 22
The Linear B TabletsKO-RE-TE, PO-RO-KO-RE-TE [koreter, prokoreter] -- Such officials are known at both Knossos and Pylos. The titles bear a suspiciously close resemblance to the Latin terms curator and procurator ("guardian" and "manager, imperial officer/governor" respectively). The Linear B evidence suggests that the koreter was a local official in charge of one of the sixteen major administrative units within the Pylian kingdom, and the prokoreter was evidently his deputy.
and Mycenaean Social, Political,
and Economic Organization
Prehistoric Archaeology of the Aegean
Trustees of Dartmouth College
Revised: Friday, March 18, 2000
Identification of Aniakchak (Alaska) tephra in Greenland ice core challenges the 1645 BC date for Minoan eruption of SantoriniAbstract: Minute shards of volcanic glass recovered from the 1645 ± 4 BC layer in the Greenland GRIP ice core have recently been claimed to originate from the Minoan eruption of Santorini [ Hammer et al., 2003 ]. This is a significant claim because a precise age for the Minoan eruption provides an important time constraint on the evolution of civilizations in the Eastern Mediterranean. There are however significant differences between the concentrations of SiO2, TiO2, MgO, Ba, Sr, Nb and LREE between the ice core glass and the Minoan eruption, such that they cannot be correlatives. New chemical analyses of tephra from the Late Holocene eruption of the Aniakchak Volcano in Alaska, however, show a remarkable similarity to the ice core glass for all elements, and this eruption is proposed as the most likely source of the glass in the GRIP ice core. This provides a precise date of 1645 BC for the eruption of Aniakchak and is the first firm identification of Alaskan tephra in the Greenland ice cores. The age of the Minoan eruption of Santorini, however, remains unresolved.
Nicholas J. G. Pearce
John A. Westgate
Shari J. Preece
Warren J. Eastwood
William T. Perkins
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