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Dating Anomalies in the Archaeology of the 7th Century BC

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 February 2016

Robert M Porter*
11 Havelock Road, Croydon CR0 6QQ, United Kingdom
Michael W Dee
RLAHA, Dyson Perrins Building, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3QY, United Kingdom
Corresponding author. Email:


Two recently published sets of radiocarbon dates, one from Mesopotamia and one from Anatolia, gave anomalous results. On the basis of historical analysis, both sets were expected to date to the 7th century BC. However, the 14C results were more than a century older than this. We tested samples from an Egyptian mummy, also historically dated to the 7th century BC, to see if such discrepancies were more widespread at this time. We did not find evidence of such a problem, but the results do provide insights into the reuse of old wood in ancient Egyptian coffins. We include publication of an earlier set of dates from the same mummy and coffin set.

Archaeology of Eurasia and Africa
Copyright © 2013 by the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona 

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