Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Responses to C14 dating of Egypt

Al Masry Al Youm (Valentina )

In a recent study published in Science Magazine on 18 June 2010, an international team of nine research professors (French, Austrian and Israeli) led by Bronk Ramsey, director of Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit at the Oxford University, have apparently determined more accurate dates for the ruling dynasties of Ancient Egypt by analyzing 211 samples.

The researchers tested seeds, baskets, and textiles, collected from tombs belonging to various museum collections across Europe and America, that had been previously dated. . . .

“For the first time, radiocarbon dating has become precise enough to constrain the history of ancient Egypt to very specific dates,” said Ramsey in AFP report.

However, Zahi Hawass, Egyptian archeologist and secretary-general of the Egyptian Supreme Council for Antiquities, strongly disagrees with the use of carbon dating in archeology.

“Carbon-14 dating has a margin of error of 100 years. In order to date Egyptian dynasties, we need to have specific dates; you cannot use carbon dating," Hawass explained to Al-Masry Al-Youm. "This technique shouldn’t be used at all in making changes to the chronology of the ancient Egypt, not even as a helpful addition.”

By contrast, Salima Ikram, professor of Egyptology at AUC, showed interest in the results.

1 comment:

Al and Sue said...

I do not understand the position not to use C14 for dating Egypt. Without firm evidence to the contrary, C14 +/-100 years is better than not having the information.