Towards an absolute chronology for the Aegean Iron Age: new radiocarbon dates from Lefkandi, Kalapodi and Corinth
Michael B. Toffolo, Alexander Fantalkin, Irene S. Lemos, Rainer C. S. Felsch, Wolf-Dietrich Niemeier, Guy D. R. Sanders, Israel Finkelstein & Elisabetta Boaretto PLOS ONE (December 26, 2013)
The relative chronology of the Aegean Iron Age is robust. It is based on minute stylistic changes in the Submycenaean, Protogeometric and Geometric styles and their sub-phases. Yet, the absolute chronology of the time-span between the final stages of Late Helladic IIIC in the late second millennium BCE and the archaic colonization of Italy and Sicily toward the end of the 8th century BCE lacks archaeological contexts that can be directly related to events carrying absolute dates mentioned in Egyptian/Near Eastern historical sources, or to well-dated Egyptian/Near Eastern rulers. The small number of radiocarbon dates available for this time span is not sufficient to establish an absolute chronological sequence. Here we present a new set of short-lived radiocarbon dates from the sites of Lefkandi, Kalapodi and Corinth in Greece. We focus on the crucial transition from the Submycenaean to the Protogeometric periods. This transition is placed in the late 11th century BCE according to the Conventional Aegean Chronology and in the late 12th century BCE according to the High Aegean Chronology. Our results place it in the second half of the 11th century BCE.