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This article discusses radiocarbon dating results of documents preserved at the Central Library of the University of Tehran (hereafter, CLUT) as part of the project “Irankoran.” The paper adds new evidence to an ongoing campaign of dating Qurʾāns and Oriental manuscripts by the Corpus Coranicum Project. The dated manuscripts include one kūfī fragment of the Qurʾān on parchment (no. 10950) and a selection of Islamic and Persian manuscripts, all from the second millennium: the Arabic dictionary Muǧmal al-Luġah (Meškāt no. 203), the medical encyclopedia Ḏaḫīrah-ye Khwārazmšāhī (no. 5156), the epic Panǧ Ganǧ of Neẓāmī (no. 5179), the book of wisdom Ādāb al-Falāsifah (no. 2165) attributed to Ḥunayn b. Isḥāq (d. 873 CE), and one of the oldest extant manuscripts of the Avesta Wīdēwdād (no. 11263). Although the authenticity of their colophons is disputed, radiocarbon dating supports the dates of the colophons; even in cases where they were suspected of being tampered with, they most likely present the accurate original dates of the corresponding manuscripts. Only in the case of Ādāb al-Falāsifah (no. 2165), radiocarbon dating of the parchment has identified the manuscript as non-authentic. Inconsistent carbon dating results of two samples taken from Ḏaḫīrah-ye Khwārazmšāhī (no. 5156) and Panǧ Ganǧ (no. 5179) provide evidence of later replaced/added leaves.
Absolute dating of plasters and mortars clearly represents a key information to study important structures and buildings that may have undergone a difficult story starting from their construction. This is for instance the case of the architectures in the archaeological site of Hierapolis (Denizli, Turkey). However, when discussing about the possibility to apply radiocarbon (14C) dating, in this site the presence of different sources of contaminants, due to the geological and geochemical conditions and to the used raw materials, prevents the binder dating. As an alternative, we thus decided to focus on the small fragments of straw that had been used as additives in the mortar/plaster matrices. The fragments were identified, selected and dated using a 14C experimental set-up specifically optimized for microgram-sized samples. The obtained results were satisfying, even though the measured 14C ages also pointed out some possible criticalities in dating such small samples collected from a carbonaceous matrix.
The aim of this study was a comparative retrospective assessment of radiocarbon (14C) as a tracer, caused by operational emissions of Rivne and Chornobyl nuclear power plants (NPPs), which are equipped with different types of nuclear reactors. For this purpose, 14C was studied in annual tree rings of pine taken at a distance of 1.5 km southwest of the Rivne NPP and at a distance of 3.5 km west-northwest of the Chornobyl NPP, near the Yaniv railway station. As a background, we use the 14C in air data (Hua et al. 2013), which we continue for time interval 2009–2020 with our experimental data for pine tree rings. Tree rings were also collected in a rural area 60 km west of Kyiv, where industrial impact, in our opinion, is absent. 14C in wood samples was determined using the conventional method based on liquid scintillation counting. It was found that the 14C excess in the annual tree-ring samples of pine near the Chornobyl NPP during the observed operation period (1984–2000) was 3.0–13.0 pMC, except for the 1986, the year of the Chornobyl accident, when the 14C value rose sharply to 182.7 pMC (14C excess 62 pMC). After 2000, the content of 14C in the air near the Chornobyl nuclear power plant did not exceed the background values within the uncertainty of the measured data. The concentration of 14C in the samples of annual tree rings of pine near the Rivne NPP for the observation period (1986–2019) corresponded to the background levels within the uncertainty of the measured data. The study of environmental traces of 14C emissions from two NPPs equipped with different types of reactors showed significantly lower emissions of Rivne NPP with VVER compared with emissions from Chornobyl NPP with RBMK reactors.
Radiocarbon (14C) dating of the total organic carbon (TOC) content of lacustrine sediments is always affected by a 14C reservoir effect and the 14C dates are often systematically older than the true ages. However, there are few studies of the temporal changes of the 14C reservoir effect, with reference to the specific influencing factors. We collected TOC samples from the Holocene sediments of Lake Kanas, in the southern Altai Mountains, for AMS 14C dating and compared the results with AMS 14C ages based on terrestrial plant macrofossils from the same depths. The results show that the reservoir ages progressively increased from ∼0 to ∼2800 yr between ∼9700 cal BP and ∼530 cal BP. As the lake catchment was glaciated prior to the Holocene, and Holocene soils and peats are the main sources of the TOC in the lake sediments, we argue that soil erosion is the major factor contributing to the progressive increase in the reservoir age. Based on previously reported evidence for increasing moisture in central Asia and glacier advances in the mid-to-late Holocene, we suggest that the intensified soil erosion on the hillslopes was caused by increased precipitation during the mid-to-late Holocene and by anthropogenic forest clearance after 1500 cal BP.
We present a timeseries of 14CO2 for the period 1910–2021 recorded by annual plants collected in the southwestern United States, centered near Flagstaff, Arizona. This timeseries is dominated by five commonly occurring annual plant species in the region, which is considered broadly representative of the southern Colorado Plateau. Most samples (1910–2015) were previously archived herbarium specimens, with additional samples harvested from field experiments in 2015–2021. We used this novel timeseries to develop a smoothed local record with uncertainties for “bomb spike” 14C dating of recent terrestrial organic matter. Our results highlight the potential importance of local records, as we document a delayed arrival of the 1963–1964 bomb spike peak, lower values in the 1980s, and elevated values in the last decade in comparison to the most current Northern Hemisphere Zone 2 record. It is impossible to retroactively collect atmospheric samples, but archived annual plants serve as faithful scribes: samples from herbaria around the Earth may be an under-utilized resource to improve understanding of the modern carbon cycle.
In autumn of 2016, the National 1MV Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) Laboratory at The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Türkiye (TÜBİTAK), Marmara Research Center (MRC), Türkiye (Turkey), started to offer radiocarbon (14C) analysis service internationally. In this article, the process from sample acceptance to reporting and the primary procedures implemented and applied for 14C analysis at the TÜBİTAK AMS Radiocarbon Dating Laboratory are described. The service provided by the laboratory includes sample evaluation for 14C analysis, sample preparation, graphite production, AMS measurement, data supervision, calendar date calculations, and consultancy. For commercial testing and analysis, a one-page official report which shows the 14C age and uncertainty is provided for each sample. In addition to a dedicated wet chemistry laboratory to process samples before measurement with AMS, there are two systems for the conversion of CO2 to elemental carbon process; an automated graphitization system (AGE III) and a manual graphitization system based on a glass high vacuum line. A 1MV UAMS NEC Pelletron system installed in the laboratory is used for natural level 14C samples needed to be analyzed for archeological, geological, geographical, and environmental and forensic science applications. In addition to commercial 14C testing and analysis activities, national and international research projects can be developed or contributed to within the scope of project management or partnership.
Sequential thermal analysis allows for deconvoluting the refractory nature and complexity of carbon mixtures embedded in mineral matrices for subsequent offline stable carbon and radiocarbon (14C) isotope analyses. Originally developed to separate Holocene from more ancient sedimentary organic matter to improve dating of marine sediments, the Ramped Pyrolysis and Oxidation (RPO) apparatus, or informally, the “dirt burner” is now used to address pressing questions in the broad field of biogeochemistry. The growing interest in the community now necessitates improved handling and procedures for routine analyses of difficult sample types. Here we report on advances in CO2 purification during sample processing, modifications to the instrumentation at the National Ocean Sciences Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (NOSAMS) facility, and introduce sodium bicarbonate procedural standards with differing natural abundance 14C signatures for blank assessment. Measurements from different environmental samples are used to compare the procedure to the different generations of sequential thermal analyses. With this study, we aim to improve the standardization of the procedures and prepare this instrumentation for innovations in online stable carbon isotopes and direct AMS-interface measurements in the future.
A set (n = 37) of new human bone radiocarbon accelerator mass spectrometry (14C AMS) dates from 11 Lithuanian Late Roman Period–Migration Period cemeteries is presented and discussed in the light of the established schemes of archaeological chronology. The focus of the paper is on the burials of the military and social elite, which indicate the emergence of new cultural traditions in E–S and W–Central Lithuania or the immigration that took place during this time. The 14C dates allow us to suggest corrections to the dominant chronological pattern of cultural development in the region.
This paper examines patterns of human–environmental interactions across northern Asia during the Holocene, in order to summarize current knowledge and identify key areas for future research. To achieve these goals, currently available chronological, cultural, and paleoenvironmental datasets from the east Russian Arctic for the last 10,000 14C years were integrated. Study regions include the Taymyr Peninsula, Lena River basin (except its southern part), northeastern Siberia, and Kamchatka Peninsula. Several broad-scale correlations between climatic fluctuations and cultural responses (e.g., subsistence strategies and occupation densities) were identified; however, these are not straightforward. For example, the increase of occupations during the warm periods in the Early–Middle Holocene are notable while the most pronounced rises coincide with a cooling trend in the Late Holocene. This shows that the human–environmental relationships in the Holocene were not linear; more interdisciplinary research will be needed to construct higher resolution data for understanding prehistoric cultural responses to past environmental changes in the Asian Arctic.
We evaluate carbonate gastropod shells as 14C proxies for groundwater discharge at springs. Groundwater 14C is commonly used to estimate groundwater transit times, and a carbonate shell proxy would present a different way of collecting groundwater 14C data. Specifically, we test the hypothesis that in exclusively groundwater-fed spring systems, water 14C is preserved in carbonate shells at multiple sites, species, and water 14C. We first present isotopic and water temperature variability over several years at three spring sites in Utah. We then compare the 14C of contemporaneously collected water, sediment, and shells of benthic gastropods (Melanoides tuberculata, Pyrgulopsis pilsbryana, and Physella gyrina). We show that water and shell 14C activities at each site are correlated (slope = 1.00, R2 = 0.999, n = 22). These results support the hypothesis that 14C from groundwater is preserved in carbonate shells, and that aqueous gastropods a viable groundwater 14C proxy. Finally, we describe the utility and limitations of using gastropod shells as a groundwater 14C proxy.
Past human population dynamics play a key role in integrated models of understanding socio-ecological change over time. However, little analysis on this issue has been carried out for the prehistoric societies in the Lower Danube and Eastern Balkans area. Here, we use summed probability distributions of radiocarbon dates to investigate potential regional and local variation population dynamics. Our study adopts a formal model-testing approach to the fifth millennium BC archaeological radiocarbon record, performing a region-wide, comparative analysis of the demographic trajectories of the area along lower Danube River. We follow the current framework of theoretical models of population growth and perform global and regional significance and spatial permutation tests on the data. Specifically, we investigate whether populations on both sides of the Danube follow a logistic pattern of steady growth, followed by a major decline over time. Finally, our analysis of local-scale growth investigates whether considerable heterogeneity or homogeneity within the region may be observed over the time span considered here. The results show both similarities and differences in the population trends across the area. Our findings are showcased in relation to the cultural characteristics of the region’s 5th millennium BC societies, and future research directions are also suggested.
This study focuses on the chronology of King Den’s reign, the fifth ruler of the 1st Egyptian dynasty. A series of radiocarbon (14C) dates were established on archaeological material from several tombs at the Abu Rawash site, near Cairo, which comprises a complex of 12 monumental mud-brick mastabas. Modeling the 14C results enables us to estimate the date of King’s accession and to link this to the beginning of the 3rd Dynasty, i.e., to Egyptian state’s structuration. Through the application of OxCal software, sets of 14C results obtained from the same archaeological context have been summarized and compared with the precise state of our knowledge on the historical duration of this reign. These results place King Den’s accession between 3104 and 2913 BCE (2σ), with the more likely date being 3011–2921 BCE (1σ). The modeled temporal density thus obtained is based both on new contextualized 14C dates and on an updated reading of the historical information on his reign. This is a dynamic result, which can be refined as soon as we have more data to integrate into the model. Above all, this resulting model becomes a crucial chronological point to better determine the beginning of the Egyptian Old Kingdom.
Regional offsets from Northern Hemisphere radiocarbon (14C) calibration curves are widely recognized for monsoon Asia and often hinder accurate 14C dating. In this paper, we explore the possible linkage between summer monsoon intensity and 14C offsets using tree-ring δ18O and 14C data from Thailand. We developed a 297-yr floating tree-ring δ18O chronology comprising seven teak log-coffin samples from the Ban Rai rock shelter site, northwestern Thailand. The outermost ring of our chronology was estimated to date from 358–383 CE, within a 95.4% (2σ) probability range, based on a total of 10 14C measurements that were wiggle-matched against a mixed calibration curve evenly weighted from the IntCal20 and SHCal20 curves. Backward trajectory analysis showed that an intensified (weakened) summer monsoon detected in a modern tree-ring δ18O chronology was most likely to be induced by increased (decreased) air mass transport from the tropical Indian Ocean, which is an area of intense upwelling where the 14C concentration is lower than the atmospheric 14C level. However, partly because of the limited sample size and dating uncertainty, the direct linkage between the tree-ring δ18O series and 14C records obtained from our teak log-coffin samples could not be statistically verified.
Previous research on the Neolithic cist graves of the Western Alpine region—also known under the term Chamblandes type graves—mostly focused on sites located in western Switzerland and eastern France. For the adjacent Aosta Valley (Italy), only a little information is available. Within the framework of our research project, it was possible to identify about 120 stone cist graves from 10 sites in the Aosta Valley. Due to the lack of distinctive grave goods and missing absolute dating, however, their chronological position has been unclear until now. Here we present the first extensive series of radiocarbon dates from Neolithic stone cist graves of the Aosta Valley. We analyzed 31 human bone samples from four sites, and most dates indicate an unexpected early chronological position around the first half of the 5th millennium BCE, in particular, the site of Villeneuve, dating to 4800–4550 cal BCE. This identifies these burials from the Aosta Valley as belonging to the oldest known Neolithic cist graves of the Western Alpine region discovered so far. Altogether, our study provides new evidence allowing the first time to clarify the chronology of these sites and trace the evolution of this burial practice in the Western Alps.
The method of determining the biobased carbon content in liquid fuel samples is standardized, but different laboratories use different protocols during sample preparation and perform the measurements using different machines. The accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) laboratories use different combustion, preparation, and graphitization methods for the graphite production for the spectrometric measurements. As a result, the intercomparison between the laboratories is inevitable to prove precision and accuracy and to demonstrate that the results are comparable. In this study, we present the results of an intercomparison campaign involving three 14C accelerator mass spectrometry laboratories. Five samples were used in the measurement campaign, including two biocomponents (fatty acid methyl ester, hydrotreated vegetable oil), one fossil component (fossil diesel), and two blends (mixtures of fossil and biocomponent with 90–10% mixing ratio) in the laboratories of CEDAD (Italy), ETH (Switzerland), and INTERACT (Hungary). The results presented by the laboratories are comparable, and all three laboratories could determine the biobased carbon content of the samples within 1% relative uncertainty, which is acceptable in the scientific, economic, and industrial fields for biocomponent determination.
Paradigms such as the coexistence of incineration and inhumation funerary practices in the northeast of the Iberian Peninsula during the Late Bronze Age are supported by the association of human remains with elements of material culture as guiding fossils. One example is the association established by Salvador Vilaseca in 1939 between the human remains and grooved pottery discovered in the Cova de Marcó in Tivissa (Ribera d’Ebre, Catalonia). This association has been accepted until today and even become a paradigm for the mixing of autochthonism (inhumation rites) with the introduction of material novelties such as grooved pottery and incineration rites during the first period of the Late Bronze Age. Direct radiocarbon (14C) dating of human remains from the Cova de Marcó shows that the remains originate from the Chalcolithic period. This indicates that there is no relationship between the sepulchral episode and the grooved pottery associated with it and used to date it. This disputes the paradigm regarding the coexistence of these two funerary practices during the Late Bronze Age and invites scholars to conduct a critical review using absolute dating techniques directly on the human remains of similar cases in order to verify or disprove the paradigm’s validity.
Tree-ring series offer considerable potential for the development of environment-sensitive proxy records. However, with traditional increment cores, only small amounts of wood are often available from annual tree-ring sequences. For this reason, it is important to understand the reliability (and reproducibility) of radiocarbon measurements obtained from small-sized samples. Here we report the F14C results from the Chronos 14Carbon-Cycle Facility of modern tropical Australian tree samples over a range of four graphite target sizes from the same rings. Our study shows that similar precision can be obtained from full-sized, half-sized, as well as small-sized graphite targets using standard pretreatment and analysis procedures. However, with a decline in sample size, there was an increase seen in the associated variance of the ages and the smallest target weights started showing a systematic bias. Wiggle-matching accuracy tests, comparing the Southern Hemisphere post-bomb atmospheric calibration curve to the different sample weight sequences, were all significant except for the 200 μgC graphite targets. Our results indicate that samples smaller than 350 μgC have limited accuracy and precision. Overall, reliable measurements of F14C sequences from tree-ring records across a range of sample sizes, with best results found using graphitized samples >350 μgC.
The Single Stage AMS radiocarbon facility at the Australian National University has operated for the past 14 years. This paper presents the pretreatment methods used for the major sample types dated and reflects on whether quality assurance protocols can adequately detect altered materials. The majority of fossil samples dated by the facility are from tropical and arid environments where diagenesis of both organic samples and carbonates is often severe. A large proportion of the samples submitted cannot be dated, and screening and quality assurance methods are crucial. Based on analysis of 250 measurements on bone collagen, quality assurance indicators for bone are revised. From May 2021, the laboratory has accepted dates on collagen where yield >0.5%, %C is in the range of 39.7–46.9, and the C:N ratio is between 3.00 and 3.30.