Olive Branch Gives New Date for Thera Eruption

A number of media are reporting on the recently published C-14 dating of an olive branch extracted from a geological layer dating back to the volcanic eruption at Thera. This major earthquake wiped out Minoan civilization and affected many parts of the eastern Mediterranean. The new date proposed by Walter Friedrich is 1613 BCE, more than a hundred years earlier than the date proposed by the traditional chronology. The find is fully published in Science Magazine.

The Independent (subscription required).
American press release from Cornell University.
Danish press release from the University of Aarhus.

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3 Responses to Olive Branch Gives New Date for Thera Eruption

  1. Work by Andrea Cook et. al,. CHEMICAL GEOLOGY, vol 177 (2001)pp.117=131 shows that trees near volcanoes are subject to receiving carbon dioxide from volcanic vent even when the volcano is not erupting. Any tree growing near such a vent will receive more carbon 12 as opposed to carbon 14 and will give the tree an older C14 date. According to Bill Evans of the USGS during a telephone conversation regarding his work with carbon dioxide venting at Yellowstone Park he found that trees near vents can be depleted of about 10 per cent carbon 14 giving them a much older date perhaps as much as 1000 years. This probability cannot be dismissed out of hand and indicates we still do not have a correct date for the eruption of Thera. I would appreciate any constructive feed back regarding this communication.

  2. In fact, Strut Manning admits in his book A TEST OF TIME that this volcanic venting can be the case. However, when the dating of the olive brance was published this possibility was hardly regarded as relevant. In the final analysis there is no solid connection between the Thera eruption and the Greenland GRIP Dye 3 ice core because the thphra and glass shards at the 1645 BC level were shown by Pearce, et al., in Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems, 5:3 proved as did Douglas J. Keenan in the same journal vol 4, no. 11 that Hammer et al., 2003 paper inThe synchronisation of Civilizations in the Eastern Mediterranean in the Second Millennium BC II M. Bietak ed ,(Vienna 2003) was erroneous. All that the proponents of the 1645 BC date have as support for the Thera eruption is a radiocarbon date that could well be affected by vented CO2 volcanic gas. By taking this one methodology approach they must claim Thera erupted but left nothing in the tree ring record, nor in the greenland ice core. How can that be? It would br similar to saying an atomic bomb (100 megaton large) definitely exploded but left no signal of its explosion outside the immediate vacinity.
    Anyone who has an answer to this problem kindly E-mail a response to joanziccardy@optonline.net

  3. Tiziano Fantuzzi says:

    That’s quite a big deal to attempt to correlate the C 14 date, dendritic growth anomalies and stratigraphical evidence from Tell el Dab’a (pumice in ph C 2) and Akrotiri ( the white slip I bowl). For certain there must be somekind of error in C 14 measurement unless we face an eventual (unilateral) raise of XVIII Din’s beginning as back as the XVII sec (what i think no scholar would admit). The question then is: haven’t there been taken C14 measurements from securly relative-dated context (such as those of Amenhotpe I, and the soldier graves stratum D 1 at Tell el Dab’a) wich, being surely less exposed to downwind volcanic venting, might show up what the real extent for these measurement’s range of error is?
    Anyone who has informations about this can contact me at tiziano.fantuzzi@gmail.com