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Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 July 2022

Nikhil Patel
Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeosciences, Lucknow-226007, India Dept. of Geology, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi-221005, India
Preeti Trivedi
Dept of AIHC & Archaeology RTM Nagpur UniversityNagpur440033, India
Rajesh Agnihotri*
Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeosciences, Lucknow-226007, India
Niraj Rai
Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeosciences, Lucknow-226007, India
Vijay Sathe
Dept of AIHC & Archaeology, Deccan College Postgraduate and Research Institute, Deemed University, Pune411006, India
Niteshkumar Khonde
Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeosciences, Lucknow-226007, India
Ravi Bhushan
Physical Research LaboratoryAhmadabad380 009, India
Partha Sarathi Jena
Physical Research LaboratoryAhmadabad380 009, India
A Shivam
Physical Research LaboratoryAhmadabad380 009, India
Alok Kumar
Dept. of Geology, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi-221005, India
*Corresponding author. Email:


Megalithic cultures of central India provide important links between the southern Neolithic-Chalcolithic cultures and the early Historical period (∼500 BC to ∼AD 700) and reveal knowledge of ancient traditions of early inhabitants. Scientific dating of these Megalithic burial sites is a challenging task due to scarcity of dateable material and alterations. Here, we present multiple accelerator mass spectrometry radiocarbon (AMS 14C) dates from equine tooth-enamel and organic food remains recovered from pots from Megalithic burials of the Vidarbha region. Using δ13CTOC and δ15N values of organic food remains recovered from pots, we deduced past-diet (palaeo-vegetation) that indicates C4 type of vegetation and thus arid climate during life-spans of these burials. We also analyzed stable δ13C and δ18O isotopes of equine tooth-enamel to investigate hydro-climatic conditions of Maharashtra (Vidarbha region). A total of 10 AMS 14C dates of tooth enamel provide a time range of AD 250–874 for two Megalithic burials. Two AMS 14C dates of organic food remains recovered from pots corroborated aforementioned time-range. The average δ13C and δ18O of equine tooth-enamel samples were −5.3 ± 2.1‰ and −2.9 ± 0.8‰, respectively, both significantly enriched compared to their modern counterparts (−13.7‰ ± 0.7 and −4.3‰ ± 1.1), indicating intense arid conditions in the past.

Research Article
Radiocarbon , Volume 64 , Issue 5 , October 2022 , pp. 1075 - 1091
© The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press for the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona

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