The ancient city-state of Urkesh, located at Tell Mozan, Syria, was the political and religious center of the Hurrians, a unique culture that inhabited the northern Syro-Mesopotamian region during the 3rd millennium BCE. The chronology of Urkesh has been divided into seven primary occupational phases, dating from the Early Dynastic II period (2800-2500 BCE) to the Middle Babylonian/ Mitanni Period (1500-1300 BCE). The site has provided an abundance of distinguishing ceramics, seals, seal impressions, and cuneiform tablets, which serve as the foundation for the Urkesh chronology.
Working under the assumption that the archaeologically derived chronology at Mozan was reliable, this research tested the accuracy of archaeomagnetic dating using pottery samples from six successive occupational phases. Samples underwent a suite of magnetic mineral characterization tests and archaeointensity measurements using the Thellier-style absolute paleointensity technique of Tauxe and Staudigel (2004). Archaeointensity experiments displayed an 88% success rate and 80% of the samples correlated well with their archaeologically determined dates. A small subset of samples appeared to indicate a possible intensity spike occurring around 2000 BCE. The final results refine the archaeointensity curve for Syria between 2350 and 1200 BCE.
University of Minnesota M.A. thesis. April 2013. Major: Anthropology. Advisors: Katherine F. Hayes and Ellery Frahm. 1 computer file (PDF); vi, 97 pages, appendices A-B.
Stillinger, Michele D..
Archaeomagnetic dating of bronze age pottery from Tell Mozan, Syria.
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