The synchronisation of chronologies, and therefore of histories, of the various areas of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Near East is an essential task without which the development of the civilisations, their reciprocal influences, their merger and divergence, cannot be described and understood.
The chronological framework of these civilisations had been broadly outlined by scholarship until the 1960s. Since then, however, the multiplication of excavations and the widespread use of C14 dates have simply revolutionised our knowledge. This accumulation of new data has profoundly altered the chronology of the third millennium BC. New schemes of periodisation have been formulated; new chronologies worked out, and new synchronisms proposed, based on a large variety of sometimes conflicting data originating from expanded geographical horizons. The ARCANE series intends to review all aspects of the material culture, together with the artistic manifestations, the historical and epigraphic records, and the various methods of dating.
The ultimate goal of the ARCANE Project is to produce a reliable relative and absolute chronology of the entire Near East and the Eastern Mediterranean, based on the synchronisation of regional chronologies for the third millennium BC.