> The sample would need to be of sufficient size for
> the lab to be able to carry out the relevant
> But no such investigation is necessary, anyway.
> > The more we see revelations of tenuous
> > that were drawn by early investigators and
> > "historians", the more we would expect
> > Egyptologists to want to get to the real
> They've got the real answers already.
> Over past centuries, using various different
> methodologies, Egyptian archaeologists have
> gradually established more and more about AE
> chronology, and AE historical context - including
> that of the GP.
> Consequently, Egyptian archaeologists do not need
> to make unnecessary and possibly damaging
An attitude that has prevailed since the translation of Manetho to English. And it was most definitely in place before the advent of carbon dating.
From : Säve-Söderbergh, T., and Ingrid U. Olsson. 1970. “C14 Dating and Egyptian Chronology.” In Radiocarbon Variations and Absolute Chronology: Proceedings of the Twelfth Nobel Symposium Held at the Institute of Physics at Uppsala University, edited by Ingrid U. Olsson, 35–55. Stockholm: Almquist & Wiksell.Quote
OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE
Aside from questions about which calibration curve should be used for Egyptian samples, Egyptologists in general remained very skeptical about the use of the method for the field. I. E. S. Edwards pointed out that he could not “pretend that 14C has yet made any actual impact on our reconstruction of Egyptian chronology” (Edwards 1970, 11), and Ronald Long came to the conclusion that radiocarbon dating was not a suitable tool for refining Egyptian chronology where “dating is facilitated by other more precise methods” (Long 1976, 35). At that time radiocarbon dating still was extremely expensive and required substantial sample sizes, so that Egyptologists and archaeologists were hesitant to take on this new dating method because of financial and conservational issues. However, that absolute calendar dates for the historical chronology as reconstructed based on the interpretation of written sources were for the first time (albeit with considerable error margins) approximately confirmed was rarely acknowledged. Most Egyptologists expected that at best radiocarbon dating would tell them something that they already knew. “If a C14 date supports our theories, we put it in the main text. If it does not entirely contradict them, we put it in a foot-note. And if it is completely ‘out of date,’ we just drop it”
A. Bruce Mainwaring Chairman, Board of Overseers - University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
Dear Dr. van Oosterhout,
Stephen Talbott, the editor of Pensée, has referred your letter of January 3 to me for reply. I am the coordinator of a Carbon 14 project which is sponsored by the Foundation for Studies of Modern Science. Inc. The project is being conducted by the Applied Science Center for Archaeology of the University Museum of the University of Pennsylvania. They have been working along with the British Museum in obtaining data for the project……….
Enclosed you will find a copy of a letter dated April 6, 1971, from Dr. I. E. S, Edwards, the keeper of Egyptology at the British Museum, addressed to Dr. Henry N. Michael at the University Museum, University of Pennsylvania. You will note the reference on page 2 to the samples #BM-642A and #BM-642B in which you expressed interest. I have for some time been quite curious as to why these results had not been published ii. “Radiocarbon.” In a conversation which I had last October will) Mr. Burleigh, the director of the laboratory of tire British Museum, he slated that he expected that the results would be published “shortly.” Upon further questioning, he admitted that results which deviate substantially from what is expected are often discarded and never published. It is my personal opinion that that is what happened in this case.
A. Bruce Mainwaring
Reply to Mainwaring
Dear Mr. Mainwaring
Thank you very much for your letter of January 29th, 1973 on radiocarbon dates of material from Tutankhamun’s tomb. In the mean time we got an answer from the British Museum: “Dear Sir: With reference to your enquiry of 3rd Jan. this laboratory has made no measurements on material from the tomb of Tutankhamun. Yours faithfully, H. Barker.”
Apparently Mr. Barker does not know what’s going on in his laboratory, to say it kindly. This is much worse than what you said. Deviating results are not only not published, it is even denied that they have been found. . .
G. W. van Oosterhout
Mr. William C. Hayes, Curator of Egyptian Art of the Metropolitan Museum of Art
The seemingly irreconcilable difference in dating this period [New Kingdom] caused me to inquire whether any chronology had been substantiated through some means other than by philological or archaeological research. Therefore, I wrote to Mr. William C. Hayes, Curator of Egyptian Art of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, asking him if he knew whether any artifacts from the Eighteenth Dynasty, particularly of the Reigns of Hatshepsut or Menkeperre had been dated by the radio-carbon or carbon 14 method and if so, what the results were. He replied that he knew of none that had been tested in this way and that “in the light of the very complete knowledge we have on this tightly dated and closely recorded period, it would serve no useful purpose to have this done “. . .
Very truly yours,
Francis J. Asip
Long Island, New York
A.F. shore, Assistant Keeper Department of Egyptian Antiquities The British Museum
Your letter of July 22nd addressed to Dr. Wiseman has been referred to me. . .
There has been so far as I am aware no radiocarbon dating of objects from the New Kingdom. I do not think that such a test, given the necessary measure of tolerance which must be allowed, is likely at the moment to give a chronology for the New Kingdom which is any more certain than a chronology deduced by historical methods.
A. F. Shore, Assistant Keeper
Department of Egyptian Antiquities
The British Museum
Assistant Professor of Egyptology, Dr. Klaus Baer
Dear Dr. Velikovsky:
From that department I had an answer from the Assistant Professor of Egyptology, Dr. Klaus Baer. This short letter I quote in full.
“As far as I know there are no radiocarbon datings of any objects from the New Kingdom. However, since the chronology of ancient Egypt is quite closely fixed by astronomical evidence from the Eleventh Dynasty onward, in part, to the nearest year. radiocarbon, with its substantial margin of error, could hardly add anything to our knowledge of the chronology of the New Kingdom. Hayes, The Sceptre of Egypt, Vol. II, dates Rameses III to 1192-1160 B.C., and this date is not likely to contain a margin of error greater than about five years each way.”
Rev. Benjamin N. Adams
Trinity Presbyterian Church
Beta Analytic Laboratories
Interpretation of radiocarbon dating results is not straightforward, and there are times when archaeologists deem the carbon 14 dating results “archaeologically unacceptable.” In this case, the archaeologist rejected the radiocarbon dating results upon evaluation of the chronology of the excavation site.
Labs ask clients on the expected age of the radiocarbon dating samples submitted to make sure that cross-contamination is avoided during sample processing and that no sample of substantial age (more than 10,000 years) must follow modern ones.
RADIOCARBON DATING AND ICELANDIC ARCHAEOLOGY - Vilhjdlmur örn Vilhjrilmsson
For several years the results of 14C datings made on Icelandic samples have repeatedly been questioned.
Results which are unexpectedly old have either been explained by extraordinary factors or rejected as being
less accurate than dates obtained by the local method of tephrochronology. On the other hand some 14C dates, seemingly older than the conventional landnam, have in later years by a single archaeologist, been interpreted as indicating a much earlier and hitherto unknown settlement in Iceland (Hermanns-Audarddttir 1989).
This attitude extends to the OK as well. Exasperation gives way to disbelief. Tell me it isn't so. That in this day and age, Egyptology is still functioning as a closed minded elite circle, that doesn't need no stinkin' science.
Should I express my exasperation or disbelief as hostility towards others? Should I take it out on others? Some will shake their heads and throw up their hands, some will become hostile. Hostility does not always, and not necessarily follow exasperation. A healthy mind can differentiate between the two. The big clue is the expression of each, there is no confusing them.