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Investigating the likelihood of a reservoir offset in the radiocarbon record for ancient Egypt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • M.W. Dee
  • F. Brock
  • S.A. Harris
  • C. Bronk Ramsey
  • A.J. Shortland
  • T.F.G. Higham
  • J.M. Rowland

Related Edinburgh Organisations

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)687-693
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010


Some radiocarbon dates for ancient Egypt have been significantly offset from the established historical chronology (see Bonani et al., 2001). In this paper, short-lived plant species collected in Egypt between 1700 and 1900 AD were used to investigate the possibility that the radiocarbon record had been influenced by reservoir effects. AMS radiocarbon measurements were made on 66 known-age samples, resulting in an average offset from expected values of 19 years. The implications of this minor discrepancy on the likelihood of a reservoir process are discussed, and the agreement of the data with recent models of radiocarbon seasonality is also considered.

    Research areas

  • Radiocarbon, Egypt, Reservoir Effect, Seasonal Effect, Egyptian Historical Chronology, Nile

ID: 27375054