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Mid-Holocene Dates for Organic-Rich Sediment, Palustrine Shell, and Charcoal from Southern Iraq

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 July 2016

Carrie Hritz*
Department of Anthropology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania 16801, USA
Jennifer Pournelle
Environment and Sustainability Program, University of South Carolina, 901 Sumter St. Byrnes 430A, Columbia, South Carolina 29169, USA
Jennifer Smith
Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Washington University in St. Louis, Campus Box 1169, 1 Brookings Dr., St. Louis, Missouri 63130, USA
Badir Albadran
Department of Geology, College of Science, University of Basrah–Qarmat Ali, Basra, Iraq
Bushra Majeed Issa
Department of Geology, College of Science, University of Basrah–Qarmat Ali, Basra, Iraq
Adil Al-Handal
Marine Sciences Centre, College of Science, University of Basrah–Qarmat Ali, Basra, Iraq
Corresponding author. Email:
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We present the results of accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon dating of 11 samples collected from 4 locations in southern Iraq. As a result of the hiatus in fieldwork in that region since 1990, and the antiquity of the majority of archaeological excavations conducted there, the record of 14C dates for southern Mesopotamia is patchy for all periods. This is especially true for the mid-Holocene, when the world's oldest and longest-sustained urban system first emerged there. The dates here reported not only make a significant contribution to available dates for this important region and period; they fill specific gaps in crucial geographic coverage, and shed light on the extent of marshland boundaries and the antiquity of settlement at key urban centers.

Copyright © 2012 by the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona 


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