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This article presents a new suite of radiocarbon (14C) dates for the lower portion of the Late Bronze Age (LBA) sequence of Area S, Tel Lachish. The results show that the lowest levels reached by Ussishkin in the 1980s (S-2 and S-3) date significantly earlier than was previously thought. Level S-3, with its monumental architecture, belongs in the 2nd half of the 15th century BCE, as does the commencement of Level S-2. The laminated deposit of S-2 continues through the first half of the 14th century BCE, coinciding at least in part with the Amarna period. This redating leads to improved agreement between archaeological and textual evidence regarding the presence of a substantial, prominent settlement at Lachish during LB IB-IIA, from the reign of Thutmoses III through the Amarna period.
Advances in accelerator mass spectrometry have resulted in an unprecedented amount of new high-precision radiocarbon (14C) -dates, some of which will redefine the international 14C calibration curves (IntCal and SHCal). Often these datasets are unaccompanied by detailed quality insurances in place at the laboratory, questioning whether the 14C structure is real, a result of a laboratory variation or measurement-scatter. A handful of intercomparison studies attempt to elucidate laboratory offsets but may fail to identify measurement-scatter and are often financially constrained. Here we introduce a protocol, called Quality Dating, implemented at ETH-Zürich to ensure reproducible and accurate high-precision 14C-dates. The protocol highlights the importance of the continuous measurements and evaluation of blanks, standards, references and replicates. This protocol is tested on an absolutely dated German Late Glacial tree-ring chronology, part of which is intercompared with the Curt Engelhorn-Center for Archaeometry, Mannheim, Germany (CEZA). The combined dataset contains 170 highly resolved, highly precise 14C-dates that supplement three decadal dates spanning 280 cal. years in IntCal, and provides detailed 14C structure for this interval.
The Middle Upper Palaeolithic (MUP) in eastern Central Europe (ECE) comprises three variants of Gravettian culture: Early Gravettian, Pavlovian, and Late Gravettian. While Early Gravettian and Pavlovian are merely located in Lower Austria and Moravia, the Late Gravettian occupations occurred over the entire territory of ECE. Compared to the number of sites the radiocarbon dating and the absolute chronology of the Late Gravettian is rather poor. The results presented here bring a new set of radiocarbon (14C) dates for the Late Gravettian period in ECE and propose that this period began and ended earlier than previously suggested.
Chapter 1 discusses the terminology of the name Third Intermediate Period and demonstrates the views within previous archaeological thought and theory, showig which ideas have shaped the discussions and approaches to Third Intermediate Period archaeology, history, and culture. Chapter 1 also provides a discussion of the complex and disputed chronology for the Third Intermediate Period, outlining those areas that are agreed upon and those areas which are still debated.
In this article, we investigate the chronology of a large parallel-walled mudbrick structure at the site of Pachamta in Rajasthan, India. Pachamta is larger than the contemporaneous Harappan site of Kalibangan and part of a society collectively known as the Ahar Culture. Recent excavations at Pachamta provided an opportunity to elaborate on the available dates for this society and to investigate the chronology of an enigmatic parallel-walled structure. The chronology and function of such prominent structures remains murky, although scholars have suggested that these buildings served as public storage because they resemble the granary at Harappa. Through excavation, our team collected data for assessing the Pachamta parallel-walled structure including construction methods, process of abandonment, and associated dates. The thirteen 14C assays from the site and an associated phase and sequence model performed in OxCal 4.3 demonstrate that the building was constructed, used, and abandoned in a relatively brief period. If parallel-walled structures are storage buildings, then expansion of the building may indicate prosperity or surplus, while abandonment may indicate an end to abundance or a shift in resource management. Carefully dating the structure allows us to investigate the timing of social processes including political and economic shifts within the settlement.
The stages of development identified in the text-critical chapters of this study are then put into chronological relationship with other texts of the period. This chapter presents an argument that the Arthaśāstra, which was probably originally called the Daṇḍanīti, was composed around the first century BCE and redacted by Kauṭilya around the third century CE. This allows us to trace the development of certain political concepts in the text, which is undertaken in the final three chapters.
The late Pleistocene–early Holocene archaeological record of the interior Pacific Northwest is dominated by what has been regionally referred to as the Western Stemmed Tradition (WST). While various efforts have attempted to clarify the chronology of this tradition, these have largely focused on data from the Great Basin and have been disproportionately preoccupied with establishing the beginning of the tradition due to its temporal overlap with Clovis materials. Specifically focusing on the Columbia Plateau, we apply a series of Bayesian chronological models to create concise estimates of the most likely beginning, end, and span of the WST. We then further explore its chronology by modeling its temporal span under various parameters and criteria so as to better identify places in the chronology that need further work and those that are robust regardless of data iteration. Our analysis revealed four major findings: (1) WST conservatively dates between 13,000 and 11,000 cal BP, likely extending to ~13,500 cal BP; (2) the most problematic period for WST is its termination; (3) the WST is incredibly long-lived compared to roughly contemporary Paleoindian traditions; and (4) the WST was seemingly unaffected by the onset of the Younger Dryas.
The radiocarbon (14C) content of simultaneously deposited substrates in lacustrine archives may differ due to reservoir and detrital effects, complicating the development of age models and interpretation of proxy records. Multi-substrate 14C studies quantifying these effects remain rare, however, particularly for large, terminal lake systems, which are excellent recorders of regional hydroclimate change. We report 14C ages of carbonates, brine shrimp cysts, algal mat biomass, total organic carbon (TOC), terrestrial macrofossils, and n-alkane biomarkers from Holocene sediments of the Great Salt Lake (GSL), Utah. 14C ages for co-deposited aquatic organic substrates are generally consistent, with small offsets that may reflect variable terrestrial organic matter inputs to the system. Carbonates and long-chain n-alkanes derived from vascular plants, however, are ∼1000–4000 14C years older than other substrates, reflecting deposition of pre-aged detrital materials. All lacustrine substrates are 14C-depleted compared to terrestrial macrofossils, suggesting that the reservoir age of the GSL was > 1200 years throughout most of the Holocene, far greater than the modern reservoir age of the lake (∼300 years). These results suggest good potential for multi-substrate paleoenvironmental reconstruction from Holocene GSL sediments but point to limitations including reservoir-induced uncertainty in 14C chronologies and attenuation and time-shifting of some proxy signals due to detrital effects.
The paper presents radiocarbon (14C) dates of samples collected from the Bronze Age cultural strata (VI–II) excavated within Sector P, Tell Arbid, Khabur Triangle, northern Mesopotamia. These strata contain objects (remains of a caravanserai, pits, graves, pottery kilns, and multi-phase houses) representing the periods of Early Jezirah 4-5, and Old Jezirah I-II. 14C dating of these strata was especially important because of a clearly visible period of abandonment of the area at the onset of 2nd millennium BC, recorded on all Khabur Triangle sites studied so far, and because of the questionable reliability of the chronology derived from scarce historical sources. Of the 29 samples of cereal grains, 9 appeared to contain residual material, while Bayesian-analyzed 14C ages of the remaining 20 allowed us to say that, at the turn of the 3rd millennium BC, Tell Arbid was abandoned later than other sites in the area, and that it was occupied over a distinctly longer period during the early 2nd millennium.
Recent reexamination of pottery, copper objects, and glass trade beads using modern analytic methods has amended the occupational history of the Cloudman site (20CH6), once interpreted as an early “Contact” period site in Michigan. The original chronology of the site, located on northern Michigan's Drummond Island in Lake Huron, was based on an apparent association of Iroquoian pottery with European-made trade goods relatively dated to circa AD 1630. Current advances in archaeological dating methods have revealed new insights into the poorly understood settlement patterns and social interactions of various Upper Great Lakes groups between AD 1300 and 1700. Accelerator mass spectrometry dating of carbonized food residue collected from late Late Woodland and Ontario Iroquoian pottery vessels suggests some contemporaneous use of both styles and the culmination of occupation by pottery-making groups by AD 1500. Elemental analysis of glass beads indicates that the recovered trade items were likely manufactured post–AD 1650. Likewise, compositional analysis of copper-base metal artifacts clarifies how such objects were made and used over time at the site. The results demonstrate how the application of modern analytic methods to curated collections can lead to significant reinterpretation, ultimately enhancing understandings of regional chronologies, social relationships, and population movements.
The Upper Paleolithic open-air site Sungir is located in the central Russian Plain. The blank production of the lithic industry is characterized by parallel reduction with flakes being the main blank type. The tool assemblage has two components: archaic types (Mousterian-like) on the one hand and Upper Paleolithic types on the other. The available data does not allow for a confident determination of the chronological position of the Sungir site, nor does it enable researchers to distinguish different stages of human occupation. The horizontal distribution of the dated samples demonstrates the almost complete absence of radiocarbon (14C) dates for household features identified at the site (fireplaces, fire and ritual pits, large accumulations of bones, etc.). In addition, the vertical distribution of 14C dates in the rather thick cultural layer points to the exposure of the site to solifluction.
In 2008, four decades since Meldgaard's work at Alarniq—the type site for Dorset culture—Savelle and Dyke returned to resurvey the site. Archaeological investigations continued in 2015 and 2017 as part of the Foxe Basin Archaeological Project, when Howse conducted further surveys, excavated six semi-subterranean dwellings and two associated middens, and tested five additional features. The new site map and radiocarbon sequence have significantly changed our understanding of site use and beach-level chronology at Alarniq. The number of dwellings varies across the beach ridges, suggesting populations fluctuated throughout the site's use (2,700–800 cal BP). However, the new radiocarbon analyses also indicate that dwellings between 14.5 and 21.5 m above sea level are the same general age and that paleodemography at Alarniq is less straightforward than suggested by the number of features per beach ridge. It appears that ideal house construction location is a stronger indicator of the placement of winter houses at the site than proximity to the shoreline. We suggest this is largely related to site seasonality. These new data have significant implications for our understanding of current Dorset artifact typologies that have largely been developed using the material Meldgaard recovered at the site.
When and where the process of state formation took place in the biblical kingdom of Judah is heavily debated. Our regional project in the southwestern part of Judah, carried out from 2007 to the present, includes the excavation of three Iron Age sites: Khirbet Qeiyafa, Tel Lachish, and Khirbet al-Ra’i. New cultural horizons and new fortification systems have been uncovered, and these discoveries have been dated by 59 radiometric determinations. The controversial question of when the kingdom was able to build a fortified city at Lachish, its foremost center after Jerusalem, is now resolved thanks to the excavation of a previously unknown city wall, dated by radiocarbon (14C) to the second half of the 10th century BCE.
This article proposes a new 14C chronology for the three-phase ceramic chronology from the settlement of Chavín de Huántar based on the AMS dating of collagen extracted from faunal remains recovered during my 1975 excavations. The chronometric estimates for the Chavín de Huántar ceramic chronology are as follows: Urabarriu Phase (950–800 cal BC), Chakinani Phase (800–700 cal BC), and Janabarriu Phase (700–400 cal BC). The new measurements confirm the sequence of the ceramic phases and indicate that the site was established around 950 cal BC and was abandoned by 400 cal BC. The results are consistent with the earlier hypothesis that the major developments at Chavín de Huántar largely postdate the Initial Period fluorescence of early coastal civilization during the second millennium BC, but they cast doubt on some current interpretations of the site's founding and cultural apogee.