Pierce Furlong's PhD thesis and implications in chronology of Ancient Near East

Dec 2009
5,615
Canada
#1
I'm wondering how many have read Pierce Furlong's PhD thesis. If you haven't, you can find free access to it here.

https://minerva-access.unimelb.edu.au/handle/11343/39353#files-area

Hoping to have a good discussion about the chronology of the Ancient Near East. I know a few members are familiar to this topic. If you're unfamiliar, Pierce Furlong's thesis is a good place to start, and from there I'd recommend getting "Centuries of Darkness" by Peter James et al. though that's out of print and getting a copy of the book is not all that easy, while Pierce Furlong's thesis is much more readily available.
 
Jan 2015
2,878
MD, USA
#2
Oh, excellent, thanks for posting that! Pretty sure I've read that a while back, been a while since I boned up on all of it. Frustrating subject, to be sure.

I'm even more of a frothing radical than that slacker Furlong, though, ha! I say 300 years, maybe more. Two hundred is a good start, though, and it would definitely get the ball rolling. But there are still too many of the Old Guard around, burning us heretics at the stake.

Wanna bet how many posts it will be before one of them brings up little green men? Standard tactic for them.

Well, bring it on!

Matthew
 
Dec 2009
5,615
Canada
#3
Not a problem. Seems not too many people have much to say about it currently though. I hope that's just because they're reading the paper first before making any comments about it.
 

Bart Dale

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
7,095
#4
I'm wondering how many have read Pierce Furlong's PhD thesis. If you haven't, you can find free access to it here.

https://minerva-access.unimelb.edu.au/handle/11343/39353#files-area

Hoping to have a good discussion about the chronology of the Ancient Near East. I know a few members are familiar to this topic. If you're unfamiliar, Pierce Furlong's thesis is a good place to start, and from there I'd recommend getting "Centuries of Darkness" by Peter James et al. though that's out of print and getting a copy of the book is not all that easy, while Pierce Furlong's thesis is much more readily available.

He makes a good case, but as he points out, he has yet to resolve the discepancy between his proposed date and some of the scientific (ex, carbon 14) dating. Ultimately, he doesn't make an argument good enough to convince me the traditional chronology should be abandoned.
 
Dec 2009
5,615
Canada
#5
He makes a good case, but as he points out, he has yet to resolve the discepancy between his proposed date and some of the scientific (ex, carbon 14) dating. Ultimately, he doesn't make an argument good enough to convince me the traditional chronology should be abandoned.
He actually has resolved the discrepancy between carbon 14 dating, dendrochronology, and ice-core analysis.

By you saying this tells me you only read his introduction, rather than the chapter that deals with these issues (chapter 5).
 
Last edited:
Jan 2015
2,878
MD, USA
#6
He actually has resolved the discrepancy between carbon 14 dating, dendrochronology, and ice-core analysis.

By you saying this tells me you only read his introduction, rather than the chapter that deals with these issues (chapter 5).
I was reading Chapter 5 yesterday myself, and it all sounds familiar so I must have read at least this part before. (Long strings of pharaohs and Assyrian kings make my eyes glaze over!) It's kind of scary because a lot of the dendro sequences are propping each other up, and German oaks are being compared to California bristlecone pines. While I can see the intent, that just seems a little bit of a reach. The whole point of using a single species in a particular area is that different trees grow in different ways, particularly in different places.

BUT then it gets into the C14 section, and though I haven't finished it yet it seems to be saying that C14 can be calibrated by using tree rings. And the tree rings are often dated or shored up by C14. Um...

Furlong mentions very clearly how preconceptions have a strong influence! None of this is as straightforward as a lot of people think.

I've also read how C14 can be calibrated by objects of "known date". So this will obviously support the orthodox chronology--if we carbon-date something from King Tut's tomb and it keeps coming up as 1050 BC, simple! Just slap 300 years on it to calibrate it! Because we KNOW Tut died in 1350, according to the orthodox dates, right?

The more I read about carbon 14 dating, the more I jitter...

Matthew
 
Aug 2014
4,343
Australia
#8
Every day there is more and more evidence telling us that the chronology we are currently using is wrong. The Dark Ages was an artificial construct and needs to be deleted. Removing 200 years from the chronology solves a lot of problems. The Trojan War, for example, actually occurred in the 10th century.
 

Bart Dale

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
7,095
#9
He actually has resolved the discrepancy between carbon 14 dating, dendrochronology, and ice-core analysis.

By you saying this tells me you only read his introduction, rather than the chapter that deals with these issues (chapter 5).
I must of missed seeing that, I will have to go back and re-read it. In my defense, it was what, some 400 pages, and not exactly the most lively prose eve written.
 

Bart Dale

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
7,095
#10
Every day there is more and more evidence telling us that the chronology we are currently using is wrong. The Dark Ages was an artificial construct and needs to be deleted. Removing 200 years from the chronology solves a lot of problems. The Trojan War, for example, actually occurred in the 10th century.

If the Trojan War was in the 10th century, when does that leave time for the Mycenaean Civilization to collapse and Greek civilization re-establish itself?

The Greeks of the post Mycenaean civilization is majorly different from the Mycenaean one:

a. Writing is completely different. If the Trojan War was as recent as you proposed, in means the Mycenaean collapse it is hard to see why there wasn't some over in the 2 writing styles, but there isn't.

b. Style of architecture is vastly different. Greeks had so forgotten the skills of the Mycenaean that they came up with fanciful tales of Cyclops building the massive gates at Mycenae.

c. Style of armor, weapons, and method of warfare all different. Hard to see how the complete difference came about without some kind of collapse, and it is hard to see how such differences could arise in the short amount of time as you proposed.

That is my biggest hurdle - I just don't see the major transformations of Greek society that we see happening in as short a time period as allotted by the new Chronology - I think more time would have been needed. But that is just my opinion.
 

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