Dr. Mark Schwartz

Photos of The Hirbemerdon Tepe Archaeological Project

Absolute Chronology

Four samples were recovered from the architectural complex on the High Mound and were processed by the Geochron laboratory in Cambridge Massachusetts using conventional (non-AMS) dating techniques--the raw dates were calibrated using the CALIB 5.0.1 calibration program (Stuiver and Reimer 1993). 

The dates fall within the Middle Bronze Age time period and are consistent with the dates of the associated pottery from these contexts.  The earliest samples from the main architectural phase of the High Mound date to roughly the late Third Millennium B.C.  Levels 2 and 4 from Trench HN at Tell Brak share similar pottery styles to Hirbemerdon Tepe including grey burnished ware sherds, carinated bowls, grooved and incised bowls with wavy lines and Khabur Ware sherds (Matthews 2003: 7.25:13; 7.26:8; 7.29: 14; 7.30:9).  These levels at Brak have been radiocarbon dated to the period of the early to mid Second Millennium B.C. (~1930-1520 B.C.), comparable to the radiocarbon dates from Hirbemerdon Tepe which span the period from approximately 2064-1416 BC.  Thus ceramic and radiocarbon dates squarely place the main occupation of Hirbemerdon Tepe to the period of the early to mid Second Millennium B.C.   

Further support in terms of absolute chronology at Hirbemerdon Tepe comes from the C14 calibrated dates (2SD) now available from Kenan Tepe that is another site with Middle Bronze Age levels located in the Upper Tigris Valley. These radiocarbon dates suggest a chronological range of this assemblage from ca. 1960 to 1630 BC (Parker and Swartz Dodd 2003: tab. 2-3).


 Matthews R. (ed.)

2003    Excavations at Tell Brak, vol. 4: Exploring an Upper Mesopotamian Regional Centre, 1994-1996, (McDonald Institute Monographs), British School of Archaeology in Iraq. Cambridge-London.


Parker B. and Swartz Dodd L.

2003    The Early Second Millennium Ceramic Assemblage from Kenan Tepe, southeastern Turkey. A Preliminary Assessment, Anatolian Studies 53, London: 33-70.


Stuiver, M. and Ploach, H.A.

            1977    Discussion: Reporting of 14C data.  Radiocarbon 19: 355-363.


Stuiver, M. and P. Reimer

1993    University of Washington Quaternary Isotope Lab Radiocarbon Calibration Program Rev. 3.0.3A.  Radiocarbon 35: 215-30.


  Last Modified Date: March 10, 2016
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