Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory


15 November 2010

A Return to the Dark Ages? Reply to Thornton et al. 2010

Nissim Amzallag American Journal of Archaeology 114.2 (April 2010): 317-329.


A synthetic theory pointing out the central importance of metallurgy in the emergence of Bronze Age civilizations was recently published in the AJA (‘From Metallurgy to Bronze Age Civilizations: The Synthetic Theory’ [2009] 497-519). In reaction, six well-known authors (Christopher Thornton, Jonathan Golden, David Killick, Vincent Pigott, Thilo Rehren, and Benjamin Roberts) have written a rebuttal devoted mainly to defending the current localizationist paradigm challenged by the synthetic theory. In this reply, the epistemological nature of localizationism and its position regarding scientific theories is considered first, then three critical points underlying the synthetic theory are discussed: (1) the external mode of crucible heating, (2) the incompatibility of crucible and furnace smelting, and (3) the prevalence of southern Canaan in the emergence of furnace metallurgy.


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