To save content items to your account,
please 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 account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.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 saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved 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.
Little is known about the early history of the chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus), including the timing and circumstances of its introduction into new cultural environments. To evaluate its spatio-temporal spread across Eurasia and north-west Africa, the authors radiocarbon dated 23 chicken bones from presumed early contexts. Three-quarters returned dates later than those suggested by stratigraphy, indicating the importance of direct dating. The results indicate that chickens did not arrive in Europe until the first millennium BC. Moreover, a consistent time-lag between the introduction of chickens and their consumption by humans suggests that these animals were initially regarded as exotica and only several centuries later recognised as a source of ‘food’.
Human remains from the (late) Middle Paleolithic remain rare. Improving our understanding of their spatio-temporal distribution is essential for obtaining insights into human evolution and the dynamics between Neanderthals and early Anatomically Modern Humans (AMHs). We present the single-amino-acid radiocarbon dating and ancient DNA results from the only Neanderthal skeletal remains known in Slovakia (Šal’a I and Šal’a II). As they were found without archaeological context and in secondary deposition, recontextualization is important. By employing the hydroxyproline radiocarbon dating method, we were able to successfully counteract contamination issues and circumvent problems caused by highly degraded collagen. By contrast, DNA analysis did not detect any endogenous DNA at the limits of our resolution. We conclude that the radiocarbon ages of >44,800 BP (OxA-X-2731-16) and >45,100 (OxA-X-2731-15) firmly place the two individuals in the Middle Paleolithic, and before the arrival of AMHs to the region. Furthermore, indirect evidence based on morphology and possibly related faunal remains suggest ages younger than 100 ka. This time frame coincides with a period in which Neanderthal populations were highly dispersed in Europe, yet in decline.
The first formal bone tool in the Central Altai of Russia was found in an Early Upper Palaeolithic assemblage at the Kara-Bom open-air site. Here the authors report the results of AMS dating, use-wear analysis, 3D-modelling and zooarchaeological and collagen fingerprinting analysis, which reveal important new insights into the osseous technology of the Kara-Bomian tradition.
Archaeological evidence for the Viking Great Army that invaded England in AD 865 is focused particularly on the area around St Wystan's church at Repton in Derbyshire. Large numbers of burials excavated here in the 1980s have been attributed to the overwintering of the Great Army in AD 873–874. Many of the remains were deposited in a charnel, while others were buried in graves with Scandinavian-style grave goods. Although numismatic evidence corroborated the belief that these were the remains of the Great Army, radiocarbon results have tended to disagree. Recent re-dating of the remains, applying the appropriate marine reservoir correction, has clarified the relationship between the interments, and has resolved the previous uncertainty.
Rock art worldwide has proved extremely difficult to date directly. Here, the first radiocarbon dates for rock paintings in Botswana and Lesotho are presented, along with additional dates for Later Stone Age rock art in South Africa. The samples selected for dating were identified as carbon-blacks from short-lived organic materials, meaning that the sampled pigments and the paintings that they were used to produce must be of similar age. The results reveal that southern African hunter-gatherers were creating paintings on rockshelter walls as long ago as 5723–4420 cal BP in south-eastern Botswana: the oldest such evidence yet found in southern Africa.
Kent's Cavern is one of Britain's most important Palaeolithic sites. The Torquay Natural History Society excavations in the Vestibule (1926–1928 and 1932–1938) yielded Middle and Early Upper Palaeolithic deposits as well as a fragment of human jaw (KC4). Higham et al. (2011) recently identified it as the oldest modern human fossil known from North West Europe, with a date estimated, using Bayesian modelling, at 44,200–41,500 cal bp (at 95.4% probability). However, White and Pettitt (2012) and Zilhão (2013) have claimed that the poor quality of the excavations and lack of stratigraphic integrity cast doubt on the archaeological and dating evidence from the site. Here, we present a thorough re-analysis of the excavations and show that they were in fact conducted to a reasonable standard. We also carefully examine the stratigraphic and sedimentological sequence and present twelve new AMS determinations from key contexts to test the previous model and chronology. We find that, while Trench C has good stratigraphic integrity, there is some evidence of post-depositional disruption of certain parts; some post-depositional movement is also shown by a limited number of artefact refits. There are two outlying AMS determinations dating to c. 32,000 bp. We therefore cannot exclude completely the possibility that the maxilla's age could be younger than the published probability distribution function (PDF). Our analysis lends support to the assessment by Higham et al. (2011) of the site and KC4 and shows that it offers considerable potential for future study.
We present radiocarbon dates, stable isotope data, and osteological analysis of the remains of a minimum of 17 individuals deposited in the western part of the burial chamber at Coldrum, Kent. This is one of the Medway group of megalithic monuments – sites with shared architectural motifs and no very close parallels elsewhere in Britain – whose location has been seen as important in terms of the origins of Neolithic material culture and practices in Britain. The osteological analysis identified the largest assemblage of cut-marked human bone yet reported from a British early Neolithic chambered tomb; these modifications were probably undertaken as part of burial practices. The stable isotope dataset shows very enriched δ15N values, the causes of which are not entirely clear, but could include consumption of freshwater fish resources. Bayesian statistical modelling of the radiocarbon dates demonstrates that Coldrum is an early example of a British Neolithic burial monument, though the tomb was perhaps not part of the earliest Neolithic evidence in the Greater Thames Estuary. The site was probably initiated after the first appearance of other early Neolithic regional phenomena including an inhumation burial, early Neolithic pottery and a characteristic early Neolithic post-and-slot structure, and perhaps of Neolithic flint extraction in the Sussex mines. Coldrum is the only site in the Medway monument group to have samples which have been radiocarbon dated, and is important both for regional studies of the early Neolithic and wider narratives of the processes, timing, and tempo of Neolithisation across Britain
This article concerns a series of 20 samples submitted for AMS radiocarbon dating from historic sites in the Libyan Sahara. The sites had been identified initially from remote sensing analysis, then visited on the ground in 2011 and organic samples suitable for a dating programme obtained. With the help of an award from the NERC-AHRC National Radiocarbon Facility, this initial suite of dates has been provided. The results are important in several ways. They demonstrate very clearly that settlement in this hyper-arid desert landscape reached its densest pattern in the late Garamantian era, broadly the fourth-fifth centuries AD. In the Islamic era that followed, though the overall population appears less dense, our dates throw light on several possible phases of settlement renewal.
Five wooden sculptures from the pre-contact Caribbean, long held in museum collections, are here dated and given a context for the first time. The examples studied were made from dense Guaiacum wood, carved, polished and inlaid with shell fastened with resin. Dating the heartwood, sapwood and resins takes key examples of ‘Classic’ Taíno art back to the tenth century AD, and suggests that some objects were treasured and refurbished over centuries. The authors discuss the symbolic properties of the wood and the long-lived biographies of some iconic sculptures.
Excavations at a cave site on the island of Palawan in the Philippines show occupation from c. 11000 BP. A fine assemblage of tools and faunal remains shows the reliance of hunter-foragers switching from deer to pig. In 9500-9000 BP, a human cremation burial in a container was emplaced, the earliest yet known in the region.
The research team of this new project has begun the precision radiocarbon dating of the super-important Copper Age cemetery at Varna. These first dates show the cemetery in use from 4560-4450 BC, with the possibility that the richer burials are earlier and the poor burials later in the sequence. The limited number of lavish graves at Varna, representing no more than a handful of paramount chiefs, buried over 50-60 years, suggests a stabilisation of the new social structure by the early part of the Late Copper Age.
We present the first results of an accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon intercomparison program on 3 different charcoal samples collected in one of the hearths of the Megaceros gallery of Chauvet Cave (Ardèche, France). This cave, rich in parietal decoration, is important for the study of the appearance and evolution of prehistoric art because certain drawings have been 14C dated to the Aurignacian period at the beginning of the Upper Paleolithic. The new dates indicate an age of about 32,000 BP, which is consistent with this attribution and in agreement with the results from the same sector of the cave measured previously at the Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement (LSCE). Six laboratories were involved in the intercomparison. Samples were measured in 4 AMS facilities: Center for Isotope Research, Groningen University, the Netherlands; the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, UK; the Centre de datation par le carbone 14, Univ. Claude Bernard Lyon 1, France (measured by AMS facilities of Poznań University, Poland); and the LSCE, UMR CEA-CNRS-UVSQ, France (measured by the Leibniz-Labor of Christian-Albrechts-Universität Kiel, Germany).
In this article we outline some of the key characteristics of the social structure of the Climax Copper Age in the eastern Balkans and the contributions of the Varna cemetery to those developments. We continue by examining the implications of the new series of 21 AMS dates from the Oxford Radiocarbon Laboratory, which represent the first dates for the Varna Eneolithic cemetery on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast. Representing the first phase of the AMS dating project for the Varna I cemetery, these dates have been selected to provide a range of different grave locations, ranges of grave goods, and age/gender associations. We conclude by addressing the question of the unexpectedly early start of the cemetery, as well as its apparently short duration and relatively rapid demise.
This article is concerned with the recognition and dating of Holocene relative sea-level changes along the coast of west Crete (an island located in the active Hellenic subduction arc of the southern Aegean) and in particular in Sphakia. Radiocarbon data for changes in sea levels collected and analysed previously must (a) be recorrected to take into account isotopic fractionation, and (b) recalibrated by using the new marine reservoir value. These new radiocarbon dates are analysed using Bayesian statistics. The resulting calendar dates for changes in sea level are younger than previously assumed. In particular the Great Uplift in western Crete in late antiquity must be dated to the fifth or sixth century AD, not to AD 365. Moreover, recent work on tectonics suggests that the Great Uplift need not have been accompanied by a catastrophic earthquake. Finally, we consider the consequences of the Great Uplift for some coastal sites in Sphakia.
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this to your organisation's collection.