Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory


24 December 2014

The Thera olive branch, Akrotiri (Thera) and Palaikastro (Crete): comparing radiocarbon results of the Santorini eruption

Hendrik J. Bruins & Johannes van der Plicht Antiquity 88:339 (March 2014), 282-287

From the introduction

An olive branch is traditionally a symbol of peace, but not necessarily in the context of chronological problems in the Eastern Mediterranean region and the Near East during the second millennium BG. Cherubini et al. (above) strongly attack the radiocarbon dating by Friedrich et al (2006) of an ancient olive branch, buried by volcanic tephra during the Minoan Santorini eruption. The criticism stems from their investigation of growth rings in modern olive trees on Santorini. The authors attempt with additional arguments, beyond their botanical investigation, to defend the traditional low chronology of the Santorini eruption of around 1500 BC. However, they ignore other crucial publications with radiocarbon dates concerning the Santorini eruption. In this response, we evaluate and negate their main arguments, and present our own conclusions.


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