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14C Dating of the Lime Burial of Cova de Na Dent (Mallorca, Spain): Optimization of the Sample Preparation and Limitations of the Method

  • Mark van Strydonck (a1), Roald Hayen (a1), Mathieu Boudin (a1), Tess van den Brande (a1), Magdalena Salas Burguera (a2), Damià Ramis (a3), Herlinde Borms (a4) and Guy De Mulder (a5)...

Abstract

Lime burials are a characteristic phenomenon of the protohistoric funerary tradition on the Balearic Islands. At Cova de Na Dent, six samples, representing the entire stratigraphy of the lime burial, were taken for analysis. The radiocarbon dates suggested that the lowest levels of the burial were Late Bronze Age. This is in contradiction with the general belief that the lime burials are a late Iron Age phenomenon. Therefore, a new analysis strategy is put forward, focusing on the so-called 1st fraction, the first CO2 released during the acid lime reaction, which is supposed to be free of fossil carbon. The analysis demonstrates the impossibility to eliminate the fossil carbon fraction completely. This is probably due to the different geological formation of the local limestone deposits (ancient reef barriers) compared to the previous lime burials of Mallorca all coming from mountain areas. 14C analysis from a cremation layer without lime at the onset of the lime burial reveals an Iron Age origin of the Cova de Na Dent lime burial.

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Corresponding author

Corresponding author. Email: mark.vanstrydonck@kikirpa.be.

References

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Van Strydonck, M, Decq, L, Van den Brande, T, Boudin, M, Ramis, D, Borms, H, De Mulder, G. In press. The Protohistoric “quicklime burials” from the Balearic islands: cremation or inhumation. Osteoarchaeology. DOI: 10.1002/oa.2307.

14C Dating of the Lime Burial of Cova de Na Dent (Mallorca, Spain): Optimization of the Sample Preparation and Limitations of the Method

  • Mark van Strydonck (a1), Roald Hayen (a1), Mathieu Boudin (a1), Tess van den Brande (a1), Magdalena Salas Burguera (a2), Damià Ramis (a3), Herlinde Borms (a4) and Guy De Mulder (a5)...

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