|Radio Carbon (C-14)
A number of seed and wood samples from the major site involved in the 10th century debate have been tested and seem to support the new 'low chronology'. Until recently it was impossible to use radiocarbon dating for such relatively 'modern' periods as the Iron Age because its results were expressed within a relatively wide margin of probability, often extending over a century or more. This element of uncertainty made conclusive associations with precise regnal dates quite unreliable. But refinements of C-14 dating techniques have greatly reduced the margin of uncertainty.
A series of samples from Stratum
VIA at Megiddo - the city long believed to have been prospered in the 11th
century BCE - give dates that cluster decades later. Fifteen wood samples
were taken from roof beams that had collapsed in the terrible fire and
destruction of stratum VIA.
These dates have been confirmed
by test of parallel strata, such as Tel Hadar on the shore of the Sea of
Galilee, Ein Hagit near Megiddo and Tel Kinneret on the northern coast
of the Sea of Galilee. What is more, a series of samples from the destruction
of a stratum at Tel Rehov near Beth-shean which is contemporary with Megiddo's
supposed "Solomonic" city, Stratum VA-IVB, gave mid-9th century dates -
a long time after its supposed destruction (by Pharaoh Shishak) in 926
BCE (see A. Mazar, IEJ 49, 1999:40-41)
The Prevailing View
The New 'Low Chronology'
Chronology in Science Magazine