The imposing Judahite fortress of Khirbet Qeiyafa has been securely dated by pottery and radiocarbon analysis to the early tenth century B. Proponents of low Bible chronology, called minimalists, claim the transition occurred around 920 to 900 B. Proponents of a high Bible chronology put the date around 1000 to 980 B. Some scholars have asked if radiocarbon dating accuracy will help settle the question. Radioactive carbon-14 is used to analyze an organic material, such as wood, seeds, or bones, to determine a date of the material’s growth. Did they live in the archaeological period known as Iron Age I, which is archaeologically poorly documented, or in Iron Age IIa, for which more evidence is available.Ultimately, radiocarbon dating accuracy for calculating Iron Age dates, and consequentially Bible chronology has varied from researcher to researcher.When it comes to Bible chronology the difference between a “high” and “low” chronology is a matter of mere decades not centuries. Other opinions place the transition somewhere between the two—in about 950 B. The date is important because the date you choose will determine whether David and Solomon reigned in the archaeologically poor and archaeologically poorly documented Iron I or in the comparatively rich and richly documented Iron IIa.In other words the particular sample is either too late or too early No doubt the rejection of certain dates as “outliers” and their exclusion from the model may lead to different dates.Omitting outliers would be acceptable only so long as it is being done in a consistent, transparent way. Radiocarbon years differ from calendar years because the former are dependent on the varying content of carbon-14 in the atmosphere.Singer-Avitz claims the material evidence of archaeological stratigraphy, including pottery finds, should not take second place. A useful tool but only one and not the only when it comes to determining Bible chronology. According to the low chronology, the transition to Iron Age IIa occurred around 920–900 B. However, the differences in data between the various schools are not dramatically far apart. In an attempt to solve this chronological problem and to achieve a more accurate date for the transition period, many scholars have resorted to carbon-14 (or radiocarbon) analysis, which can be performed on any organic substance, like wood or grain.
Furthermore, wooden beams were reused in later strata, which can result in even greater differences in date.
According to the so-called high chronology, the transition occurred around 1000 or 980 B. The hope of many scholars who feel that this science-based radiocarbon research will bring the debate to its longed-for solution is, in my view, difficult to adopt.
The question I would like to raise is whether radiocarbon dating is really more precise, objective and reliable than the traditional way of dating when applied to the problem of the date of the transition from Iron I to Iron IIa.
Since these “long-term” samples may introduce the “old wood” effect, any calculation of precise absolute dates based on “long-term” samples is unreliable and may easily lead to errors of up to several decades or even more.
For this reason, researchers prefer to use “short-life” samples, such as seeds, grain or olive pits. In many studies, particular radio-carbon dates are not considered valid because they do not match the majority of dated samples from the site in question.