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Troy absolute

Of particular national interest are the results of 14C-dating of a stratigraphically continuous series of animal bones from area D9 in the inventory of the Tübingen Troia project.

  • Runtime: 01.01.2018 - 31.03.2020
  • Supporter: Henkel-Stiftung

A high-precision absolute chronology for Troy as a reference site for the Bronze and Early Iron Age between the Balkans and the eastern Mediterranean

Abb. 1: Graphitisation plant in the 14C-preparation laboratory, Photo: C. Breckle, rem, CEZA

Even though the project, which is supported by the Henkel Foundation, may initially have a specific problem with the site, it is precisely this problem that leads to the actual scientific, supra-regionally significant main concern of the project: Due to a strong increase in archaeological source material, the chronology of the Anatolian FBZ and MBZ has repeatedly undergone major modifications in the recent past, whereby the parallelization of the respective sites was partly based on typological aspects and partly on newly available 14C data.

Due to its extremely extensive find material and the singular stratigraphy, which, starting from FBZ I, covers all cultural stages up to Late Antiquity almost without interruption, Troia assumes the role of a central reference site, not least of all mediating between the Anatolian and Aegean cultural spheres. However, due to the lack of adequate absolute chronological key data for several directly consecutive Early and Middle Bronze Age occupation horizons, a comparative comparison of Troia with other sites quickly becomes limited in terms of content – and methodology; depending on the researcher, up to 150 years of variance exist for one and the same period with regard to their beginning and end, a circumstance that can currently only be remedied by providing a sufficiently large quantity of accelerator mass spectrometer (AMS) 14C data on short-lived samples.

Report

Abb. 2: Preparation of bone samples for 14C-dating, Photo: C. Breckle, rem, CEZA

Of particular national interest are the results of 14C-dating of a stratigraphically continuous series of animal bones from area D9 in the inventory of the Tübingen Troia project. In this area it is possible to use the 14C-method to make further statements regarding the controversially discussed end of the Late Bronze Age settlement of Troia.

The 252 14C data already available offer a unique opportunity to adequately close numerous chronological gaps in Bronze Age to Iron Age research between Central and Western Anatolia on the one hand and the Balkans and Greece on the other. These gaps still exist despite 150 years of partly intensive investigations and discussions. The results should provide a reliable, long-term reference framework based on 14C-AMS measurement technology for a large part of the sites located in the area concerned and beyond.