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Comments on M. Kuhle and S. Kuhle (2012): ‘Hannibal Gone Astray? A Critical Comment on W. C. Mahaney et al., “The Traversette (Italia) Rockfall: Geomorphological Indicator of the Hannibalic Invasion Route” (Archaeometry, 52, 1 [2010] 156–72)’



The title of Kuhle and Kuhle's (2012) (hereafter K&K 2012) paper in Archaeometry appears to be mostly a tirade against the Traversette Route of Hannibal's Army, as originally favoured by Sir Gavin de Beer—a man possessed of singular scientific experience and near-singular interest in Carthaginian history—in the mid-part of the last century. The mere fact that Mahaney et al. (2010a,c) added to de Beer's corpus of evidence that Hannibal followed the southern route appears to have brought K&K (2012) to lodge not only a protest, but one of accusatory tone, stating that Mahaney et al. (2010c) had erroneously misinterpreted historical texts to prove the Col de la Traversette as the Punic Army col of passage into Italia. Aside from the fact that the tone of these allegations rises to a curious level, it is the intention of this discussion to put facts where they belong, rooted in what is known of the Hannibalic Invasion and what is inferred by the prevailing scientific evidence. It is important to note that there is not one preferred route as stated by K&K (2012), but three in fact (see Fig. 1 (a) in Mahaney et al. 2010c), and all have been discussed by a legion of historians (see, e.g., Freshfield 1886, 1899; de Beer 1969; Proctor 1971; Prevas 1998; Mahaney 2008).