David Kaniewsk and ten colleagues have recently published a radiocarbon dating study of materials from the ancient port of Gibala near Ugarit in Syria. This study is in the context of textual evidence for the “Sea People event.” Here’s the bottom line,
By a combined use of radiocarbon, archaeological and historical data, the first firm date of 1192–1190 BC is proposed for the terminal destruction and disintegration of Late Bronze Age societies in the Northern Levant. The collapse caused by the Sea Peoples marks a historical watershed and from these crisis years arose a new world. Later, the Greeks narrated and heroised this period with the myths and stories on the fall of Troy (Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey). Some of the Sea Peoples, the Philistines, received a significant recognition in Biblical texts, and the name Palestine derives from these settlers. [references deleted]
This date conforms well with the commonly suggested 1190-1185 BCE date range for the fall of Ugarit. Note: Kaniewsk places the destruction of Ugarit between 1192 and 1175 BCE (Fig 1). Not surprisingly or even uniquely, the study points to a process rather than an event. This paper touches on an issue I discuss in my essay on the Mesopotamian origins of Homeric augury and I need to think about how I might integrate it into that essay or a follow up essay.