Publication Details

(Including Publishers’ Blurb and Table of Contents)

Peter James, I. J. Thorpe, Nikos Kokkinos, Robert Morkot and John Frankish, Centuries of Darkness: A Challenge to the Conventional Chronology of Old World Archaeology. With a Foreword by Lord Professor Colin Renfrew.

  • British Hardback Edition = London: Jonathan Cape 1991. ISBN 0-224-02647-X. 24 x 16 cm. xxii + 434 pp. (with 19 plates, 85 figures, 20 tables, 13 maps). Out of print.

  • British  Paperback Edition = London: Pimlico 1992. ISBN 0-7126-5518-2. Out of print.
Centuries of Darkness
  • US Hardback  Edition = New Brunswick, NJ.: Rutgers University Press, 1993. ISBN 0-8135-1950-0. Out of print

  • US  Paperback Edition = New Brunswick, NJ.: Rutgers University Press, 1993. ISBN 0-8135-1951-9. Out of print
Centuries of Darkness
  • Spanish  Paperback Edition = Barcelona: Critica, 1993. ISBN 84-7423-576-6. Price 3600 Pts. Postal address: Critica, Arago 385, 08013 Barcelona, Spain. Status unknown
Centuries of Darkness
  • Greek Paperback Edition = Athens: Aiolos, 2006. ISBN 960-521-179-3. 24 x 17 cm. 526 pp. (with 19 plates, 85 figures, 20 tables, 13 maps). This edition includes as extras: an introduction to the Greek public (9 pp.) by Nikos Kokkinos entitled “Centuries of Darkness: a dozen-year reflection (1991-2003)”; a prologue (2 pp.) by the translator and archaeologist Antouanneta Kallegia-Gad; an appendix (22 pp.) with the 15 Frequently Asked Questions, as appearing on this website; and a leaflet (triptych) with a selection of 12 quotations from reviews, for and against. Publisher’s postal address: Aiolos, Charilaou Trikoupe 25, Athens 106.81, Greece; Tel.: (00301) 3301553; Fax: (00301) 3802859; E-mail:;Website:
Centuries of Darkness

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Publishers’ Blurb

The Old World has confronted archaeologists with many riddles, perhaps the most tantalising of which is the Dark Age, an economic and cultural recession so devastating it lasted for 400 years from 1200 to 800 BC. Or did it? The dates for the Near East and Mediterranean are derived from the highly regarded chronology of ancient Egypt, but could not that itself have been miscalculated? This is the pioneering theory proposed by Peter James in an intricate piece of scholarly detective work. Deciphering the clues from papyri and pottery, he and his team of experts search layer by layer through the excavated treasures of a vast area from Spain to Iran and from Denmark to Sudan, until they reach Egypt, the root of the labrinthine riddle. It is here that they unearth 250 years of ‘ghost history’.

Once these are eliminated, fresh perspective is thrown not only on the reality of the Dark Age, but also on the Trojan War, the foundation of Rome, the origin of the Greek alphabet and the Golden Age of King Solomon. Centuries of Darkness is a masterpiece of archaeological reasoning which will revolutionise our view of the ancient world.

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Centuries of Darkness Table of Contents


Foreword by Colin Renfrewxiii

1.The Evolution of Old World Chronology1
2.To the Pillars of Heracles27
3.Beware the Greeks Bearing Gifts56
4.The Dark Age Mysteries of Greece68
5.The Foundations of Geometric Chronology95
6.Redating the Hittite Empire113
7.Cyprus, Ceramics and Controversy142
8.Biblical Archaeology Without Egypt162
9.The Empty Years of Nubian History204
10.Egypt: The Centre of the Problem220
11.Riddles of Mesopotamian Archaeology261
12.The Exaggeration of Antiquity291
13.The End of the Dark Ages?311
A1:Dendrochronology and Radiocarbon Dating321
A2:Greek and Roman Theories on Ancient Chronology326
A3:The ‘Venus Tablets’ of Ammizaduga and the dating of the 1st Dynasty of Babylon335
A4:Synchronisms between Egypt, Mesopotamia and the Hittites during the Late Bronze Age340

Notes and references345



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