- Dating in ancient history remains uncertain and conjectural. It rests on a system of relative chronologies that take into consideration the stratigraphic sequence of archaeological sites, written sources appearing in such contexts, references to astronomical events, and links with later, established chronologies of Greece or Rome. Dates for the first millennium are more reliable because of the regular astronomical observations recorded by Babylonian scholars and because of the Assyrian eponym lists that can be correlated to regnal years of Assyrian kings. All earlier dates are less secure. In fact, there are three different systems that are based on the interpretation of a group of astronomical texts known as the Venus Tablet of Ammi-saduqa, which list first and last visibilities of the planet Venus during the reign of King Ammi-saduqa of Babylon. Three dates are possible for his accession to the throne: 1702, 1646, or 1583 B.C. This gives a “high,” “middle,” and “low” chronology. Although many scholars prefer the high chronology, the middle chronology is used in most of the general historical works, as in the present volume. There is also a fourth chronology that on the basis of pottery evidence dates Ammi-saduqa to 1550. Dates for the third millennium are even less clearly established.
Historical Dictionary of Mesopotamia. EdwART. 2012.