The middle chronology is one chronology of the Near Eastern Bronze and Early Iron Age, which fixes the reign of Hammurabi to 1792–1750 BCE and the sack of Babylon to 1595 BCE.
The chronology has been traditionally based on a 56/64-year astronomical calculation determined by evidence from the Venus tablet of Ammisaduqa and Enuma anu enlil tablet 63, but the sun eclipse of the Mari Eponym Chronicle also figures heavily into the discussion. Conventional textbooks tended to use the middle chronology, but early dendrochronological and astronomical evidence presented various problems for it. This led to increased adoption of the short chronologies by some. However, more recent dendroarchaeological, astronomical, and historical studies have shown the correct chronology lies within short range of the Middle Chronology.
Low Middle ChronologyEdit
One of the more recently proposed chronologies is the Low Middle Chronology. This chronology only lowers the middle chronology by eight years, but purports to carry many advantages its variation does not. The Low Middle Chronology is in exact agreement with the tree-ring record of a volcanic eruption (possibly the eruption at Santorini) around 1628-1626, whose record in the Venus tablets can be inferred from the higher atmospheric extinction levels observed in the 12th and 13th years of Ammi-Saduqa.In addition, the 1838 BC date (Low Middle) for the eclipse in the Mari Eponym Chronicle offers a much more conspicuous eclipse than the one in 1845 BC (Middle). Though no consensus has been reached, the Low Middle Chronology has certainly been favored over the Middle Chronology in recent years.
A table of historical events, by the Middle and Low-Middle Chronologies, is shown below.
|Historical event||Middle chronology||Low-Middle chronology|
|Akkadian Empire||2334–2154 BCE||2326–2146 BCE|
|Third Dynasty of Ur||2112–2004 BCE||2104–1996 BCE|
|Dynasty of Isin||2017–1794 BCE||2009-1786 BCE|
|First Dynasty of Babylon||1894–1595 BCE||1886–1587 BCE|
|Reign of Hammurabi||1792–1750 BCE||1784–1742 BCE|
|Reign of Ammisaduqa||1646–1626 BCE||1638–1618 BCE|
|Fall of Babylon||1595 BCE||1587 BCE|
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