A Return to the Dark Ages? Reply to Thornton et al. 2010

Nissim Amzallag
2010 American Journal of Archaeology  
A synthetic theory pointing out the central importance of metallurgy in the emergence of Bronze Age civilizations was recently published in the AJA ("From Metallurgy to Bronze Age Civilizations: The Synthetic Theory" [2009] 497-519). In reaction, six well-known authors (Christopher Thornton, Jonathan Golden, David Killick, Vincent Pigott, Thilo Rehren, and Benjamin Roberts) have written a rebuttal devoted mainly to defending the current localizationist paradigm challenged by the synthetic
more » ... the synthetic theory. In this reply, the epistemological nature of localizationism and its position regarding scientific theories is considered first, then three critical points underlying the synthetic theory are discussed: (1) the external mode of crucible heating, (2) the incompatibility of crucible and furnace smelting, and (3) the prevalence of southern Canaan in the emergence of furnace metallurgy.* Editors' note: We invite readers to participate in further discussion on the issues examined here by visiting the AJA Web are acknowledged for their help, advice, and fruitful discussion on this topic. I offer here my gratitude to Susana Lezra for help with the English version of this text and for useful comments, to Jean-Baptiste for drawing fi gs. 1 and 2, and to the Israel Museum for the photo-
doi:10.3764/aja.114.2.317 fatcat:v6gwmcmakrhrpnm5agb5ejspqu