• 14C Chronology of Burial Grounds of the Andronovo Period (Middle Bronze Age) in Baraba Forest Steppe, Western Siberia

      Molodin, V. I.; Marchenko, Z. V.; Kuzmin, Y. V.; Grishin, A. E.; Van Strydonck, M.; Orlova, L. A. (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2012-10-15)
      This paper focuses on the chronology of Middle Bronze Age complexes in the Baraba forest steppe (western Siberia). Three sites were radiocarbon dated, Stary Tartas 4, Sopka 2, and Tartas 1. The Late Krotovo culture was dated to the 18–19th centuries BC, the Andronovo complex (Fedorovo stage) to the 15–18th centuries BC, and the Mixed Andronovo complex dated to the 15–17th centuries BC. These values are some 300–500 yr older than previously thought, and the new results are consistent with 14C dates of the Andronovo cultural complex in northern Eurasia. Based on these data, the 15th century BC is the upper chronological limit of the Andronovo period.
    • 14C Dates and Spatial Statistics: Modeling Intrasite Spatial Dynamics of Urnfield Cemeteries in Belgium Using Case Study of Destelbergen Cemetery

      De Reu, Jeroen; De Mulder, Guy; Van Strydonck, Mark; Boudin, Mathieu; Bourgeois, Jean (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2012-10-15)
      The possibility of radiocarbon dating on cremated bones stimulated a systematic 14C dating project investigating the chronology of Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age urnfield cemeteries in Belgium. The growing amount of 14C dates on these cremated remains led to new insights into the chronology, development, and disappearance of the urnfield phenomenon. Consequently, ideas about cultural and historical processes need to be modified. Also, the internal chronology of the cemeteries is much more complex than previously thought, stimulating the need for techniques to analyze and visualize the internal development of an individual burial site. The application of centrographic methods like the mean center, standard distance circle, and standard deviational ellipse illustrates the possibilities for analyzing the internal chronology of the cemeteries based on the available 14C dates.
    • 14C Dating Human Skeletons from Medieval Archaeological Sites in Kamakura, Japan: Were They Victims of Nitta Yoshisada's Attack?

      Minami, M.; Nakamura, T.; Nagaoka, T.; Hirata, K. (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2012-10-15)
      We investigated the radiocarbon ages and carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios of human skeletal remains from burials at the Yuigahama-minami and Chusei-Shudan-Bochi sites in the Yuigahama area (Kamakura, Japan), which we believe are associated with the great attack on Kamakura by Nitta Yoshisada in AD 1333. The human bones produced enriched δ13C and δ15N values that could be affected by consumption of protein from marine fish and/or mammals with high δ13C and δ15N, and therefore older apparent 14C ages. We thus estimated the marine reservoir effect on human skeletons to determine their true ages. The IsoSource isotope mixing model was employed for reconstructing percentages of marine protein in the human diet, and calibrated calendar dates for the 14C ages were calculated using the marine percentages. At the Yuigahama-minami site, most skeletons from individual burials now date to the last phase of the Kamakura period or the early part of the Muromachi period, while skeletons from mixed human-animal multiple burials date to the latter part of the Kamakura period. The humans from the individual burials, consisting of normal ratios of adult males, could have died a natural death, though the site could also have been used to inter victims of the battle of 1333. The humans from mixed human-animal burials, consisting of a high proportion of infants, were not victims of the 1333 battle, but the site may have been used to inter victims of the Kamakura earthquake in 1293, which resulted in a catastrophic tsunami. On the other hand, the skeletons from multiple burials in the Chusei-Shudan-Bochi site all date to the middle Kamakura period. Coupled with the fact that most humans in the site are male but show no evidence of injuries by sword cuts, it is likely that burials of the Chusei-Shudan-Bochi site could have been a collective interment following the Jinji earthquake in 1241, the Shoka earthquake in 1257, or the Shoka famine in 1258 in the middle Kamakura period. The results of this study indicate that humans from burials in the Yuigahama region were not necessarily victims of the attack by Nitta Yoshisada on Kamakura, but instead were likely victims of natural disasters such as large earthquakes and severe famines, which often occurred in the middle Kamakura period.
    • 14C Dating of Fire-Damaged Mortars from Medieval Finland

      Lindroos, Alf; Regev, Lior; Oinonen, Markku; Ringbom, Åsa; Heinemeier, Jan (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2012-10-15)
      This study focuses on radiocarbon dating of mortars that have withstood city fires and display visible fire damage effects. Some fire-damaged and undamaged original Medieval mortars from the same site have also been tested. The mortars were heated at different temperatures and then analyzed using the same preparation procedures as in 14C dating of mortars to see what kind of changes the heating would introduce to the mineralogy, chemistry, and the carbon and oxygen isotope ratios. We found that decarbonation during heating starts at ~600 °C and recarbonation starts as soon as the temperature drops. Already after a few days, most of the lost CO2 has been replaced with atmospheric CO2. The renewed carbonates are readily soluble in the acid hydrolysis process and their carbon and oxygen isotopes have a light signature. Fire-damaged historical mortars display the same features. If a long time has elapsed between hardening of the original mortar and the fire, the new carbonates have 14C concentrations that point to the fire event rather than to the building event. In several cases, the fire-damaged mortars have an easily soluble carbonate fraction with a 14C age that could be related to a major fire event, but still most of the soluble carbonate yields a 14C age that seems like a reasonable age for the original construction.
    • 14C Dating of the Early Natufian at el-Wad Terrace, Mount Carmel, Israel: Methodology and Materials Characterization

      Eckmeier, Eileen; Yeshurun, Reuven; Weinstein-Evron, Mina; Mintz, Eugenia; Boaretto, Elisabetta (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2012-10-15)
      The Natufian (15–11.5 kyr BP) sites in the southern Levant are characterized by a lack of macrobotanical remains, including charcoal, and poor preservation of bone collagen. As a result, only about 30 reliable radiocarbon dates are available for building a chronology of the Natufian period. Here, we present new 14C data from the Natufian site of el-Wad terrace that fall in the range of the Early Natufian period. Using Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) analysis, we investigated the environmental factors that influenced the preservation of material for 14C dating of the site, and we tested a modified pretreatment method for poorly preserved charcoal samples. The normal pretreatment protocol for 14C samples (W-ABA) removed more charcoal material than the modified method, which omits the first acid treatment (W-BA). This first acid step seems to enhance the extraction of humic substances during the subsequent base step. We found that the poor preservation of charcoal could be attributed to the presence of calcite, and therefore an alkaline pH of sediments. The most important factor determining bone collagen preservation may have been the hydrological setting, i.e. fluctuating water levels due to oversatu-ration of the dense sediments after rainfall.
    • 14C Marine Reservoir Variability in Herbivores and Deposit-Feeding Gastropods from an Open Coastline, Papua New Guinea

      Petchey, Fiona; Ulm, Sean; David, Bruno; McNiven, Ian J.; Asmussen, Brit; Tomkins, Helen; Richards, Thomas; Rowe, Cassandra; Leavesley, Matthew; Mandui, Herman; et al. (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2012-10-15)
      Herbivorous and deposit-feeding gastropods are a major component of archaeological shell middens worldwide. They provide a wealth of information about subsistence, economy, environment, and climate, but are generally considered to be less than ideal for radiocarbon dating because they can ingest sediment while they graze, inadvertently consuming terrestrial carbon in the process. However, few studies of 14C activity in herbivores or deposit-feeding gastropods have been conducted into this diverse range of animals that inhabit many environmental niches. Here, we present results investigating 14C variability in shells belonging to the families Strombidae and Potamididae from the Bogi 1 archaeological site, Caution Bay, southern coastal Papua New Guinea (PNG). These shells make up 39.3% of the shell MNI [minimum number of individuals] in the excavation units studied and some of these species are the most common taxa of neighboring sites. It would therefore be advantageous to establish if there are any 14C offsets associated with such animals, and identify those that can give reliable calendar ages. Our methodology combines a high-resolution excavation protocol, selection of short-lived samples identified to species level, and a tri-isotope approach using 14C, δ13C, and δ18O to evaluate the source of variability in shells. Our results indicate that considerable variation exists between different species of Strombidae with some inhabiting muddier environments that act as sinks for limestone-derived sediments with depleted 14C content. The magnitude of variation is, however, overshadowed by that measured in the mudwhelk, Cerithidea largillierti, which has the largest spread in 14C of any shellfish studied so far at Caution Bay. This animal ingests sediment within the estuary that contains 14C derived from both enriched and depleted sources.
    • A Merovingian Surprise: Early Medieval Radiocarbon Dates on Cremated Bone (Borsbeek, Belgium)

      De Mulder, Guy; Van Strydonck, Mark; Annaert, Rica; Boudin, Mathieu (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2012-10-15)
      Radiocarbon dating of cremated bone is a well-established practice in the study of prehistoric cremation cemeteries since the introduction of the method in the late 1990s. 14C dates on the Late Bronze Age urnfield and Merovingian cemetery at Borsbeek in Belgium shed new light on Merovingian funerary practices. Inhumation was the dominant funerary rite in this period in the Austrasian region. In the Scheldt Valley, however, some cremations are known, termed Brandgrubengräber, which consist of the deposition of a mix of cremated bone and the remnants from the pyre in the grave pit. 14C dates from Borsbeek show that other ways of deposition of cremated bone in this period existed. In both cases, bones were selected from the pyre and wrapped in an organic container before being buried. Recent excavation and 14C dates from another Merovingian cemetery at Broechem confirmed the information about the burial rites and chronology from Borsbeek. This early Medieval practice of cremation rituals seems an indication of new arrivals of colonists from northern regions where cremation remained the dominant funerary rite. Another case at Borsbeek shows the reuse of a Late Bronze Age urn in the Merovingian period. This practice is known from Viking burials in Scandinavia, but was not ascertained until now in Flanders.
    • Absolute Dating (14C and OSL) of the Formation of Coversand Ridges Occupied by Prehistoric Hunter-Gatherers in NW Belgium

      Crombé, Philippe; Van Strydonck, Mark; Boudin, Mathieu; Van den Brande, Tess; Derese, Cilia; Vandenberghe, Dimitri A. G.; Van den Haute, Peter; Court-Picon, Mona; Verniers, Jacques; Gelorini, Vanessa; et al. (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2012-10-15)
      Based on radiocarbon and optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) results obtained in the last 5 yr, this paper discusses the absolute chronology of the formation of one of the largest sand dunes within NW Belgium, the Great Ridge of Maldegem-Stekene. Multiproxy analysis of 6 sedimentary sequences points to a complex formation history covering the entire Late Glacial. Dry phases, characterized by eolian deflation and sedimentation, alternated with wet phases in which numerous mostly shallow dune slacks were filled with freshwater. The latter reached their highest water level during the first half of the Allerød, attracting both animals (e.g. European elk) and humans (Federmesser hunter-gatherers). Near the end of the Allerød, all dune slacks finally disappeared as they were filled in with windblown sand (“coversand”), likely forcing prehistoric hunter-gatherers to leave the area.
    • Absolute Dating of the Bronze Age Defensive Settlement in Horodnianka (NE Poland)

      Krąpiec, Marek; Bolka, Monika; Brzozowski, Jerzy (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2012-10-15)
      In 2008–2009, during construction of the ring road around the town of Sztabin in NE Poland, archaeological rescue excavations were carried out at site no. 12 in Horodnianka. The excavations revealed the remains of a defensive settlement from the Bronze Age, with a total surface of 3 ha. Concentric wooden palisades reinforcing the settlement were situated on sandy, elevated embankments of the Biebrza River. Altogether, 189 samples of archaeological wood, mainly oak (Quercus sp.), were collected. Dendrochronological analysis demonstrated that the trees were cut down within a relatively short period of only 22 yr. On the basis of 22 contemporaneous dendrochronological sequences, the average curve HOR_AA1 (89 yr long) was constructed. However, attempts at dating the average curve against the chronologies from adjacent areas were unsuccessful. Therefore, determination of the time interval represented by the palisade oaks was attempted with the wiggle-matching method. Radiocarbon dating using liquid scintillation counting (LSC) was conducted for 6 suitable samples selected from the average curve. The 14C results, after calibration, suggest the dates of cutting the oaks outlining the Horodnianka chronology most probably fall in the time interval 870–795 cal BC. This means that Horodnianka could be the furthest northeastern defensive fortification of the Lusatian culture.
    • AMS 14C Dates and Major Element Composition of Glass Shards of Late Pleistocene Tephras on Tanegashima Island, Southern Japan

      Okuno, Mitsuru; Torii, Masayuki; Naruo, Hideto; Saito-Kokubu, Yoko; Kobayashi, Tetsuo (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2012-10-15)
      Four late Pleistocene tephra layers—Tane I (Tn1), II (Tn2), III (Tn3), and IV (Tn4) in ascending order—are intercalated between widespread tephras, Kikai-Tozurahara (K-Tz: 95 ka) and Aira-Tn (AT: 30 cal kBP), on Tanegashima Island, in southern Japan. Paleolithic ruins such as the Yokomine C and Tatikiri archaeological sites were excavated from the loam layer between the Tn4 and Tn3 tephras. To refine the chronological framework on the island, we conducted accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon dating for 2 paleosol and 6 charcoal samples related with the late Pleistocene tephras and the Yokomine C archaeological site. The obtained 14C dates are consistent with the stratigraphy in calendar years, 33 cal kBP for Tn4, 40 cal kBP for Tn3, and 50 cal kBP for Tn2 and Tn1. The charcoal dates from Yokomine C, 32–38 cal kBP, not only constrain the age of Tn4 and Tn3 ashes, but also serve as a possible date for the site. We also measured the major element compositions of volcanic glass shards with EDS-EPMA to characterize these tephras. Although we could not find a possible correlative for Tn3 and Tn4 ashes using major element oxides of the glass shards, i.e. 75–76 wt% in SiO2, the glass chemistry obtained in this study will be valuable in correlating these tephras with their source volcanoes in the near future.
    • Assessment of Infinite-Age Bones from the Upper Thames Valley, UK, as 14C Background Standards

      Cook, G. T.; Higham, T. F. G.; Naysmith, P.; Brock, F.; Freeman, S. P. H. T.; Bayliss, A. (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2012-10-15)
      It is becoming increasingly clear that in order to generate accurate radiocarbon dates for bone collagen samples it is important to determine a sample-specific background correction to account for the greater complexity and higher number of steps in the pretreatment chemistry of this material. To provide suitable samples for the 14C community, 7 bone samples were obtained from contexts within British gravel quarries, which according to other dating techniques or stratigraphic information, should be of infinite age with respect to 14C. The bones were analyzed at the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit (ORAU) and the Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre (SUERC) to determine their suitability. In this paper, we show that 6 of the samples were indistinguishable from background. Both institutions measured finite ages for sample 387 from Oxey Mead that were statistically indistinguishable. Further work is required to establish whether this is because the bone was intrusive and of a younger age than expected or whether it is contaminated either postdepositionally or in the laboratory. We favor the former explanation because (1) the 2 chemistry laboratories use very different pretreatment schemes, (2) collagen yields were high, and (3) the laboratories produced ages that are in good agreement. The 6 “greater than” age samples will be made available to 14C laboratories to be used as background standards.
    • Bayesian Spatiotemporal Analysis of Radiocarbon Dates from Eastern Fennoscandia

      Onkamo, Päivi; Kammonen, Juhana; Pesonen, Petro; Sundell, Tarja; Moltchanova, Elena; Oinonen, Markku; Haimila, Miikka; Arjas, Elja (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2012-10-15)
      Archaeological phenomena, especially those that have been radiocarbon dated, can be utilized as indications of human activity and occupancy in space and time. 14C dates from archaeological contexts have been used as proxies for population history events in several recent studies (e.g. Gamble et al. 2005; Shennan and Edinborough 2007; Oinonen et al. 2010; Tallavaara et al. 2010; Pesonen et al. 2011). As a step towards a larger spatiotemporal modeling effort, we present examples of spatial distributions obtained using Bayesian methodology, analyzing all available archaeological 14C dates from the Stone Age (9000–1500 cal BC) in eastern Fennoscandia. The resulting maps follow the patterns of pioneer settlement in Finland beginning at ~9000 cal BC and provide supporting evidence for the postulated population peak around 4000–3500 cal BC in Finland and the subsequent population decline.
    • Characterization of Contexts for Radiocarbon Dating: Results from the Early Iron Age at Tell es-Safi/Gath, Israel

      Toffolo, Michael; Maeir, Aren M.; Chadwick, Jeffrey R.; Boaretto, Elisabetta (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2012-10-15)
      The reliability of a radiocarbon date depends in part on the degree of precision and accuracy of the measurement. While analytical precision and accuracy can be improved by careful sample cleaning procedures and high laboratory standards, accuracy also depends upon the certainty to which the sample can be attributed to a specific material culture or event in the past. This might be questionable when based only on partial archaeological information. As a consequence, it is very difficult to date clear-cut chronological transitions within specific periods. This issue is particularly apparent in the case of Mediterranean Iron Age chronology, where 2 somewhat different perspectives are proposed, the “High Chronology” and the “Low Chronology,” which differ by ~50 yr. Here, we present the preliminary results of an ongoing project that aims to characterize Iron Age archaeological contexts from the eastern Mediterranean, and to identify those contexts that are suitable for dating, in order to improve the accuracy of 14C dates. This study involves the analysis of sediments by means of FTIR spectrometry, soil micromorphology, phytolith and phosphate extraction, all of which provide insights into the site-formation and postdepositional processes at the different sites under investigation. These techniques, applied at Tell es-Safi/Gath (Israel), enabled us to better identify a secure context for dating.
    • Characterization of Different Chemical Procedures for 14C Dating of Buried, Cremated, and Modern Bone Samples at CIRCE

      Passariello, Isabella; Simone, Pasquale; Tandoh, Joseph; Marzaioli, Fabio; Capano, Manuela; De Cesare, Nicola; Terrasi, Filippo (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2012-10-15)
      Bone chemical treatment for radiocarbon dating has drawn the attention of different laboratories because dates of bones and charcoals found in the same layer often disagree. Excluding diet-related reservoir effects, this observation is likely due to a nonoptimized procedure of contaminant removal from the extracted collagen. In this study, systematic work on the bone chemical treatment was performed with the aim to investigate the effect of each known procedure (i.e. AAA, GEL, and ULTR) on the collagen used for 14C dating. Isolation and purification of lipids from animal tissues were performed to estimate eventual offsets induced by the applied methods, by comparing the 14C ages of lipids with those of collagen. Moreover, cremated bones were treated for the first time at CIRCE. Measured 14C isotopic ratios on these samples were used to evaluate the accuracy of the applied procedure by comparing against the results for charcoals found in the same archaeological context as the bones.
    • Chronological Problems with Neolithization of the Northern Caspian Sea Area and the Forest-Steppe Povolzhye Region

      Vybornov, A.; Zaitseva, G.; Kovaliukh, N.; Kulkova, M.; Possnert, G.; Skripkin, V. (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2012-10-15)
      Steppe and forest-steppe areas of the Povolzhye area (Caucasus and central Asia) bear much interest for the Neolithic in connection with the productive economy of the region at the time. Recent data have allowed correction of the region’s chronology. A number of 14C dates denote the existence of the Neolithic in this territory as early as the 5th to 6th millennium BP. However, some questions are still under debate and require further data to clarify.
    • Chronology of Late Pleistocene Humans in Eurasia: Results and Perspectives

      Keates, Susan G.; Kuzmin, Yaroslav V.; Burr, George S. (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2012-10-15)
      A compilation of direct age determinations for Late Pleistocene human fossils in eastern Europe and Asia is presented in this paper, and current problems with the dating of hominids in these regions are discussed. Only 25 human finds (4 Neanderthals and 21 modern humans) have been directly dated from Pleistocene eastern Europe and Asia. Indirect dating of human remains (using presumably associated organics) often is insecure, especially when information about the exact provenance of human fossils is lacking. Continuation of direct dating of Late Pleistocene humans in Eurasia, primarily with the help of the accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) 14C method, is therefore an urgent task.
    • Chronology of Neolithic-Early Metal Age Sites at the Okhta River Mouth (Saint Petersburg, Russia)

      Kulkova, Marianna; Gusentzova, T.; Nesterov, E.; Sorokin, P.; Sapelko, T. (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2012-10-15)
      The unique archaeological monument of Okhta 1 (Neolithic-Early Metal Age) was excavated in 2008 in central Saint Petersburg (Russia). Radiocarbon and wiggle-match dating of organic materials and artifacts (charcoal wood samples and ceramic food crusts) from lithological and cultural layers helped to determine the main stages of cultural-historical processes and paleogeographical events in the coastal zone of the Baltic Sea bay during the Holocene. Humans occupied the Okhta Cape from 4200–3600 cal BC, after the Littorina Sea regression. Prehistoric people of the Middle-Late Neolithic, identified by their characteristic Pit Combed Ware ceramics, used this territory for fishing and hunting. The wood pile constructions used for fishing in 3500 cal BC were built on the coast and in river channels. From 3200–3000 cal BC, settlements and burials appeared of the Late Neolithic-Early Metal Age. The strategic geographical position of this territory was favorable for trade activity, fishing, and hunting, and shaped important interactions for different cultural groups.
    • Chronology of the Early Bronze Age in the Southern Levant: New Analysis for a High Chronology

      Regev, Johanna; de Miroschedji, Pierre; Greenberg, Raphael; Braun, Eliot; Greenhut, Zvi; Boaretto, Elisabetta (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2012-10-15)
      The chronology of the Early Bronze Age (EBA) in the southern Levant and the synchronization between the sites, considering seriation and radiocarbon dates, have shown large inconsistencies and disagreement. We have assembled 420 14C dates, most of them previously published and a few provided directly by the excavators. The dates have been re-evaluated on the basis of their archaeological context and using analytical criteria. Bayesian modeling has been applied to the selected dates in relation to the given seriation of the EBA subperiods (EB I, II III, IV). Sites with 2 or more sequential subphases were individually modeled in order to define the transitions between the subperiods. The new chronology indicates that the EB I–II transition occurred site-dependently between 3200–2900 BC, with EB II–III around 2900 BC, and EB III–IV ~2500 BC.
    • Comparative Decalcification Methods, Radiocarbon Dates, and Stable Isotopes of the VIRI Bones

      Tuross, Noreen (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2012-10-15)
      The Fifth International Radiocarbon Comparison (VIRI) provided a suite of 5 bone samples with consensus ages ranging from 969 to 39,305 14C yr BP (Scott et al. 2010). These bones were used herein in a comparison of decalcification methods using either HCl or EDTA to produce collagen, and the results demonstrate age concordance between both preparation methods and the VIRI consensus values. Additional isotopic analyses of the collagen (δ13C, δ15N, and δ18O) illustrate the increasing sensitivity of carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen isotopes in assessing gelatin degradation.
    • Considerations of the Scale of Radiocarbon Offsets in the East Mediterranean, and Considering a Case for the Latest (Most Recent) Likely Date for the Santorini Eruption

      Manning, Sturt W.; Kromer, Bernd (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2012-10-15)
      The debate over the dating of the Santorini (Thera) volcanic eruption has seen sustained efforts to criticize or challenge the radiocarbon dating of this time horizon. We consider some of the relevant areas of possible movement in the 14C dating—and, in particular, any plausible mechanisms to support as late (most recent) a date as possible. First, we report and analyze data investigating the scale of apparent possible 14C offsets (growing season related) in the Aegean-Anatolia-east Mediterranean region (excluding the southern Levant and especially pre-modern, pre-dam Egypt, which is a distinct case), and find no evidence for more than very small possible offsets from several cases. This topic is thus not an explanation for current differences in dating in the Aegean and at best provides only a few years of latitude. Second, we consider some aspects of the accuracy and precision of 14C dating with respect to the Santorini case. While the existing data appear robust, we nonetheless speculate that examination of the frequency distribution of the 14C data on short-lived samples from the volcanic destruction level at Akrotiri on Santorini (Thera) may indicate that the average value of the overall data sets is not necessarily the most appropriate 14C age to use for dating this time horizon. We note the recent paper of Soter (2011), which suggests that in such a volcanic context some (small) age increment may be possible from diffuse CO2 emissions (the effect is hypothetical at this stage and has not been observed in the field), and that “if short-lived samples from the same stratigraphic horizon yield a wide range of 14C ages, the lower values may be the least altered by old CO2.” In this context, it might be argued that a substantive “low” grouping of 14C ages observable within the overall 14C data sets on short-lived samples from the Thera volcanic destruction level centered about 3326–3328 BP is perhaps more representative of the contemporary atmospheric 14C age (without any volcanic CO2 contamination). This is a subjective argument (since, in statistical terms, the existing studies using the weighted average remain valid) that looks to support as late a date as reasonable from the 14C data. The impact of employing this revised 14C age is discussed. In general, a late 17th century BC date range is found (to remain) to be most likely even if such a late-dating strategy is followed—a late 17th century BC date range is thus a robust finding from the 14C evidence even allowing for various possible variation factors. However, the possibility of a mid-16th century BC date (within ~1593–1530 cal BC) is increased when compared against previous analyses if the Santorini data are considered in isolation.