The New Chronology of Iron Age Gordion argues that the history and archaeology of the site of Gordion, in central Turkey, have been misunderstood since the beginning of its excavation in the 1950s. The first excavation director, Rodney Young, found evidence for substantial destruction during the first decade of fieldwork; this was interpreted as proof that Gordion had been destroyed ca. 700 B.C. by the Kimmerians, a group of invaders from the Caucusus/Black Sea region, as attested in several ancient literary sources. During the last decade, however, renewed research on the archaeological evidence, within, above, and below the destruction level indicated that the catastrophe that destroyed much of Gordion occurred 100 years earlier, in 800 B.C., and was the result of a fire that quickly got out of control rather than a foreign invasion.
This discovery requires a reassessment of Anatolian history during the entire first millennium B.C. and has serious implications for our understanding of the surrounding regions, such as Assyria, Syria, Greece, and Urartu, among others. The New Chronology of Iron Age Gordion is the product of a multidisciplinary research program, with dendrochronology and radiocarbon dating working hand in hand with textual and artifact analysis, each of which is treated in a separate chapter in this volume. All of these categories of evidence point to the same conclusion and demonstrate that we need to look at Gordion, and much of the ancient Near East, in a completely new way.
University Museum Monograph, 133
"The New Chronology of Iron Age Gordion is the latest, and perhaps the most eagerly awaited, of the volumes in the Gordion special studies' series. The chronology of the Iron Age in Anatolia remains notoriously obscure and has proved a stumbling block for scholarship. . . . The new Gordion chronology has therefore generated a great deal of interest and excitement, as well as debate. This edited volume offers, for the first time, a comprehensive discussion of the new chronology, both from a methodological and from an interpretive point of view."—Bryn Mawr Classical Review
"This is an excellent, important, and necessary book. It is excellent because of its completeness and the quality of its contributions; it is important because of the central place of the date of the Gordion Destruction Level in discussions about Anatolian chronology and history; and it is necessary because there was no complete treatment of the redating proposal yet, giving rise to, as it now clear, mostly unfounded disagreements and confusion. . . . This is a great book. It has been eagerly anticipated by everyone working on the Anatolian Iron Age, and it lives up fully to the expectations."—Ancient West and East