The most direct and precise radiocarbon date for the Minoan eruption of Santorini

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conference

Geologist and archaeologists have a special interest in knowing the precise date of the Minoan eruption, because its tephra provides a synchronous time marker in the Eastern Mediterranean: If one knows the precise date of the Minoan eruption at one point of the tephra layer, the entire layer is dated. That means that all archaeological objects that are in direct and undisturbed contact with this marker horizon have the same, known age. An ideal tree sample from an olive tree, buried alive in the ash of the eruption on Santorini, provides the most direct and precise radiocarbon date for the Minoan eruption. Together with a second olive tree, excavated only 9 meters from the first one, it enables us to repeat the earlier measurements of the first tree 2006 (Friedrich, W.L . Kromer, B Friedrich, M. Heinemeier, J. Pfeiffer, T. Talamo, S. Santorini Eruption Radiocarbon Dated to 1627-1600 BC. Science 312
(5773), 2006, 548.) and refine them by adding new information from both trees.
The AMS Laboratories Heidelberg/Mannheim, Vienna, Oxford, Aarhus/Seattle and the Dendro Laboratory at Hohenheim have participated in the new dating round. At present, the result is not yet ready, but it seems to confirm the measurement obtained in 2006 using wiggle matching on the data obtained on a conventional radiocarbon instrument in Heidelberg.
Original languageEnglish
Publication year10 Oct 2012
Number of pages1
StatePublished - 10 Oct 2012
EventVOLSAM2012 - Fira, Santorini, Greece
Duration: 10 Oct 201212 Oct 2012


CityFira, Santorini

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