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 theory proposed by Peter James, Nikos Kokkinos and their colleagues. Deciphering the clues from papyri and pottery, they 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 labyrinthine riddle. It is here that they unearth 250 years of ‘ghost history’.
Once these are eliminated, fresh perspectives 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 Solomon.
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, 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. Hardback. (out of print)
British Paperback Edition = London: Pimlico 1992. ISBN 0-7126-5518-2 (out of print)
US Hardback & Paperback Editions = New Brunswick, NJ.: Rutgers University Press, 1993. ISBN 0-8135-1950-0 (out of print); 0-8135-1951-9 (out of print)
Spanish Paperback Edition = Barcelona: Critica, 1993. ISBN 84-7423-576-6 (status unknown)
Publishers' postal address: Critica, Arago 385, 08013 Barcelona, Spain.
Greek Paperback Edition = Athens: Ekdoseis 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 the Centuries website; and a leaflet (triptych) with a selection of 12 quotations from reviews - for and against.
For reviews, comments, current news, and other links, please go to: The Official Centuries of Darkness Website
(The CoD Team - from back to front: John, Ian, Robert, Peter and Nikos)