Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Radiocarbon Reveals the Age of Two Precious Tombs in the Etruscan Site of Populonia-Baratti (Tuscany)

  • C Scirè Calabrisotto (a1), M E Fedi (a2), F Taccetti (a2), M Benvenuti (a3), L Chiarantini (a3) and L Quaglia (a4)...

Abstract

The archaeological site of Populonia-Baratti, in the southern part of Tuscany (Italy), was one of the most important centers in ancient Etruria, as seen in the evidence of metallurgical activities carried out at that time. During recent archaeological excavations (2005) in the ancient industrial area of Populonia, along the Baratti beach, 2 interesting tombs were found. The 2 graves were unusually located in an area dedicated to metallurgical activity and showed a particular structure of the burial chambers and an extreme richness in the grave goods. The unique character of the 2 tombs prompted many questions: who were these 2 individuals (a woman wearing many jewels and a tall, vigorous man) and when did they die? In order to obtain useful information about the chronology of the 2 tombs, accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon analyses were performed on samples taken from the ribs of the 2 skeletons. Measured 14C ages were converted to calibrated ages using additional information derived from stable isotope ratios measured in the extracted collagen. Actually, the 13C data provided useful hints about the diet of the 2 individuals, thus allowing us to estimate the percentage of marine food consumed (about 30%) and exploit a combined marine-terrestrial calibration curve. As a result, the age of the 2 individuals can be dated to the 2nd century AD, during Roman times, which is in good agreement with the information obtained from archaeological, anthropological, and stylistic studies of the 2 tombs.

    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Radiocarbon Reveals the Age of Two Precious Tombs in the Etruscan Site of Populonia-Baratti (Tuscany)
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Radiocarbon Reveals the Age of Two Precious Tombs in the Etruscan Site of Populonia-Baratti (Tuscany)
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Radiocarbon Reveals the Age of Two Precious Tombs in the Etruscan Site of Populonia-Baratti (Tuscany)
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

Corresponding author

Corresponding author. Email: fedi@fi.infn.it

References

Hide All
Arneborg, J, Heinemeier, J, Lynnerup, N, Nielsen, HL, Rud, N, Sveinbjörnsdóttir, A. 1999. Change of diet of the Greenland vikings determined from stable carbon isotope analysis and 14C dating of their bones. Radiocarbon 41(2):157–68.
Botarelli, L, Coccoluto, M, Mileti, C, editors. 2007. Materiali per Populonia 6. Edizioni ETS. Pisa. In Italian.
Bronk Ramsey, C. 1995. Radiocarbon calibration and analysis of stratigraphy: the OxCal program. Radiocarbon 37(2):425–30.
Bronk Ramsey, C. 2001. Development of the radiocarbon calibration program. Radiocarbon 43(2A):355–63.
Cartocci, A, Fedi, ME, Taccetti, F, Benvenuti, M, Chiarantini, L, Guideri, S. 2007. Study of a metallurgical site in Tuscany (Italy) by radiocarbon dating. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research B 259(1):384–7.
Chiarantini, L, Benvenuti, M, Guideri, S. 2006. Recenti ricerche sui processi di produzione del ferro nel Parco di Baratti e Populonia nel I millennio a.C. Rassegna di Archeologia classica e post classica, 21B 2004–2005. All'Insegna del Giglio Edizioni. Firenze. p 171–82.
De Niro, MJ. 1985. Postmortem preservation and alteration of in vivo bone collagen isotope ratios in relation to palaeodietary reconstruction. Nature 317(6040):806–9.
Fedeli, F, Galiberti, A, Romualdi, A. 1993. Populonia e il suo territorio, profilo storico-archeologico. All'Insegna del Giglio Edizioni. Firenze. In Italian.
Fedi, ME, Cartocci, A, Manetti, M, Taccetti, F, Mandò, PA. 2007. The 14C AMS facility at LABEC, Florence. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research B 259(1):1822.
Hughen, KA, Baillie, MGL, Bard, E, Beck, JW, Bertrand, CJH, Blackwell, PG, Buck, CE, Burr, GS, Cutler, KB, Damon, PE, Edwards, RL, Fairbanks, RG, Friedrich, M, Guilderson, TP, Kromer, B, McCormac, G, Manning, S, Bronk Ramsey, C, Reimer, PJ, Reimer, RW, Remmele, S, Southon, JR, Stuiver, M, Talamo, S, Taylor, FW, van der Plicht, J, Weyhenmeyer, CE. 2004. Marine04 marine radiocarbon age calibration, 0–26 cal kyr BP. Radiocarbon 46(3):1059–86.
Keenleyside, A, Schwarcz, H, Stirling, L, Ben Lazreg, N. 2009. Stable isotopic evidence for diet in a Roman and Late Roman population from Leptiminus, Tunisia. Journal of Archaeological Science 36(1):5163.
Longin, R. 1971. New method of collagen extraction for radiocarbon dating. Nature 230(5291):241–2.
Prowse, T, Schwarcz, HP, Saunders, S, Macchiarelli, R, Bondioli, L. 2004. Isotopic paleodiet studies of skeletons from the Imperial Roman-age cemetery of Isola Sacra, Rome, Italy. Journal of Archaeological Science 31(3):259–72.
Reimer, PJ, Baillie, MGL, Bard, E, Bayliss, A, Beck, JW, Bertrand, CJH, Blackwell, PG, Buck, CE, Burr, GS, Cutler, KB, Damon, PE, Edwards, RL, Fairbanks, RG, Friedrich, M, Guilderson, TP, Hogg, AG, Hughen, KA, Kromer, B, McCormac, G, Manning, S, Bronk Ramsey, C, Reimer, RW, Remmele, S, Southon, JR, Stuiver, M, Talamo, S, Taylor, FW, van der Plicht, J, Weyhenmeyer, CE. 2004. IntCal04 terrestrial radiocarbon age calibration, 0–26 cal kyr BP. Radiocarbon 46(3):1029–58.
van Klinken, GJ. 1999. Bone collagen quality indicators for palaeodietary and radiocarbon measurements. Journal of Archaeological Science 26(6):687–95.

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed