• Founded
  • Seminar Number

This seminar was created to coordinate the archaeological chronologies of the regions of the Near East and the Eastern Mediterranean. It meets from six to eight times a year to discuss new research and hear reports of recent fieldwork. A number of relevant papers were published in the American Journal of Archaeology from 1968 until 1988, and in 1992 in the Journal of the Ancient Near Eastern Society. Since then, the focus of the seminar has been widened to include all aspects of the ancient cultures of the Near East and its adjoining regions.

Allan S. Gilbert

K. Aslihan Yener

Kutay Şen

Meeting Schedule

11/02/2023 Faculty House, Columbia University
5:30 PM
High, Middle, or Low? Establishing an absolute radiocarbon chronology for the Middle Bronze Age Levant
Felix Höflmayer, Austrian Academy of Sciences


In recent years, radiocarbon data from several sites throughout the eastern Mediterranean challenged both the low and the traditional chronology of the Middle Bronze Age Levant and subsequently its correlation with Egypt. The revised chronology demands a critical reassessment of our current view of Egyptian-Levantine relations during the Middle Bronze Age. Textual sources such as the Execration Texts, the Mit Rahina inscription of Amenemhet II, the historical inscription of Khnumhotep at Dahshur, or the Khu-Sobek inscription were interpreted along the lines of the traditional or the low chronology, as were art historical references, such as the Egyptianizing paintings at the Middle Bronze Age fort at Tell el-Burak. This paper summarizes the current state of research in the field of absolute chronology of the Middle Bronze Age Levant and its synchronization with Egypt and presents for the first time a historical interpretation of Egyptian-Levantine relations based on an absolute radiocarbon-backed chronological framework.

11/06/2023 Zoom
5:30 PM
Tree-ring and radiocarbon refinements towards more precise chronology for the Near Eastern Bronze Age
Charlotte Pearson, University of Arizona


Combining tree-ring records and radiocarbon dating can open new possibilities to enhance chronology, however, discrepancies between radiocarbon dating and historically or archaeologically based chronologies persist. In this talk, we will explore how single year radiocarbon measurements from tree-rings were used to permanently anchor a previously floating tree-ring record from 22 archaeological sites in Turkey and examine the implications of this for dating in Bronze Age central Anatolia. We will also look at the difference that newly proposed refinements to the radiocarbon calibration curve may make to radiocarbon dating across the same time period and consider the limitations and complications of the radiocarbon dating method.

12/04/2023 Zoom
5:30 PM