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Adding to the debate was the announcement of a recent study last month in the Cornell Chronicle.Sturt Manning, Professor of Classical Archaeology at Cornell University, and colleagues, recorded a series of carbon 14 dates in tree rings from southern Jordan near Petra that have sent tremors through the field of archaeology.Manning is the director of the Cornell Tree-Ring Laboratory, and is the lead author of “Fluctuating Radiocarbon Offsets Observed in the Southern Levant and Implications for Archaeological Chronology Debates,” published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.He has published much other research on radiocarbon and tree-ring chronologies in the past.“We have only investigated tree-rings from AD 1610-1940 so far, but we can reasonably assume that a similar pattern of radiocarbon fluctuations occurred in the centuries before for this region,” said Manning.Manning noted in the Chronicle that, “Scholars working on the early Iron Age and Biblical chronology in Jordan and Israel are doing sophisticated projects with radiocarbon age analysis, which argue for very precise findings. But our work indicates that it’s arguable their fundamental basis is faulty – they are using a calibration curve that is not accurate for this region.”Carbon dating utilizes a very exact process present in nature to come up with its results.However, most are unaware that the Carbon dating results published for archaeological remains are not the raw results from the radiocarbon tests.
They further argue that dating much older items will result in anomalous dates, which might fall within the range that carbon dating can measure. The bottom line is that the history of Egypt and Israel may need to be rewritten.Theories about the correct dates for events in the ancient world have been debated for centuries.That is, samples with dates known from historical records can be used to check the accuracy of the method.Despite this, however, caution is still necessary in accepting dates derived from carbon dating.