• Table of Contents

      Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2011-01-01
    • Tell Sabi Abyad, Syria: Radiocarbon Chronology, Cultural Change, and the 8.2 ka Event

      Van der Plicht, J.; Akkermans, P. G.; Nieuwenhuyse, O.; Kaneda, A.; Russell, A. (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2011-01-01)
      At Tell Sabi Abyad, Syria, we obtained a robust chronology for the 7th to early 6th millennium BC, the Late Neolithic. The chronology was obtained using a large set of radiocarbon dates, analyzed by Bayesian statistics. Cultural changes observed at ~6200 BC are coeval with the 8.2 ka climate event. The inhabitation remained continuous.
    • The Canadian Archaeological Radiocarbon Database (CARD): Archaeological 14C Dates in North America and Their Paleoenvironmental Context

      Gajewski, K.; Muñoz, S.; Peros, M.; Viau, A.; Morlan, R.; Betts, M. (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2011-01-01)
      Databases of accumulated paleoecological and archaeological records provide a means for large-scale syntheses of environmental and cultural histories. We describe the current status of the Canadian Archaeological Radiocarbon Database (CARD), a searchable collection of more than 36,000 14C dates from archaeological and paleontological sites from across North America. CARD, built by the late Dr Richard Morlan of the Canadian Museum of Civilization, consists of uncalibrated 14C data as well as information about the material dated, the cultural association of the date (e.g. Paleoindian, Archaic, Woodland), and its geographic location. The database can be used to study questions relating to prehistoric demography, migrations, human vulnerability to environmental change, and human impact on the landscape, but biases relating to sampling intensity and taphonomy must first be accounted for. Currently, Canada and the northern United States are well represented in the database, while the southern United States is underrepresented. The frequency of 14C dates associated with archaeological sites increases through time from 15,000 cal yr BP until European contact, which likely reflects, among other factors, both the destruction of older cultural carbon due to erosion and dissolution and increasing population numbers through time. An exploratory analysis of the dates reveals their distribution in both time and space, and suggests that the database is sufficiently complete to enable quantitative analysis of general demographic trends.
    • Using the 14C Bomb Pulse to Date Young Speleothems

      Hodge, Ed; McDonald, Janece; Fischer, Matthew; Redwood, Dale; Hua, Quan; Levchenko, Vladimir; Drysdale, Russell; Waring, Chris; Fink, David (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2011-01-01)
      Three modern speleothems were sampled at high resolution for radiocarbon analysis to identify their bomb-pulse signatures and to construct chronologies. Each speleothem exhibited a different 14C response, presumed to be related to site characteristics such as vegetation, temperature, rainfall, depth below the surface, and water pathway through the aquifer. Peak 14C activity for WM4 is 134.1 pMC, the highest cited thus far in the literature and suggestive of a lower inertia at this site. Dead carbon fractions for each stalagmite were calculated and found to be relatively similar for the 3 speleothems and lower than those derived from Northern Hemisphere speleothems. An inverse modeling technique based on the work of Genty and Massault (1999) was used to estimate soil carbon residence times. For each speleothem, mean soil 14C reservoir ages differed greatly between the 3 sites, ranging from 2-6.5 to 32-46 yr.
    • Who's That Lying in My Coffin? An Imposter Exposed by 14C Dating

      Sowada, Karin; Jacobsen, Geraldine E.; Bertuch, Fiona; Palmer, Tim; Jenkinson, Andrew (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2011-01-01)
      In the 19th and early 20th centuries, many museums acquired Egyptian coffins containing mummies from private donors who bought them from dealers in Egypt. Owing to the unknown context of such acquisitions, it cannot be assumed that the mummified individual inside the coffin is the same person named on it. Radiocarbon dating is a key diagnostic test, within the framework of a multidisciplinary study, to help resolve this question. The dating of an adult mummy in the Nicholson Museum at the University of Sydney was therefore checked using 14C dating. For over 150 yr, mummy NM R28.2 was identified as Padiashaikhet as per his coffin, dated to the 25th Dynasty, about 725-700 BC. 14C results from samples of linen wrappings revealed that the mummy was an unknown individual from the Roman period, cal AD 68-129. The mummification technique can now be understood within its correct historical context.