• Early Bronze Age Strata at Tell Ghanem al-Ali along the Middle Euphrates in Syria: A Preliminary Report of 14C Dating Results

      Nakamura, T.; Hoshino, M.; Tanaka, T.; Yoshida, H.; Saito, T.; Tsukada, K.; Katsurada, Y.; Aoki, Y.; Ohta, T.; Hasegawa, A.; et al. (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2010-01-01)
      We collected charcoal fragments during an archaeological excavation at the Tell Ghanem al-Ali site, located on the lowest terrace of the middle Euphrates River, and measured their radiocarbon ages with accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). Two trenches, Square-1 and Square-2, were dug on the slope of the tell; 8 building levels were detected in the Square-2 trench. In total, 31 charcoal samples were collected from the 2 trenches, and their calibrated ages ranged from 3100-2900 cal BC at the lowest building level to 2400-2050 cal BC at the uppermost layers of the mound, and concentrated in the period 2650-2450 cal BC. The pottery fragments collected on the surface of the mound before the excavation survey was started, as well as those collected from the sediment layers during the excavation, were assigned on the basis of typological sequences to the Early Bronze Age (EB)-III and EB-IV periods. Thus, the concentrated dates (2650-2450 cal BC) obtained by 14C dating are consistent with the age estimated by archaeological contexts. However, the oldest dates of the lowest level (level-7) go back to 3100-2900 cal BC, and these dates may suggest the existence of the human residence prior to the EB period at the site, and may therefore lead to a revision of the oldest age limit of the EB period currently accepted in the region.
    • Editorial Board

      Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2010-01-01
    • Editorial Board

      Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2010-01-01
    • Editorial Board

      Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2010-01-01
    • Editorial Board

      Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2010-01-01
    • Effects of Vegetation Switch and Subsequent Change in Soil Invertebrate Composition on Soil Carbon Accumulation Patterns, Revealed by Radiocarbon Concentrations

      Toyota, Ayu; Tayasu, Ichiro; Fujimaki, Reiji; Kaneko, Nobuhiro; Uchida, Masao; Shibata, Yasuyuki; Hiura, Tsutom (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2010-01-01)
      Vegetation types strongly affect soil organic carbon (SOC) accumulation in the terrestrial ecosystem through multiple factors such as litter quality and soil biodiversity. However, the roles of soil fauna in SOC accumulation remain unclear. The objectives of this study were to (1) examine how changes in litter types and soil animal communities affect SOC accumulation in continuously forested or vegetation-switched forest areas; and (2) discuss the role of soil animals in SOC accumulation in forest ecosystems. We focused on soils that have accumulated on top of a volcanic ash layer in the 268 yr since a volcanic eruption in 1739. The radiocarbon "bomb spike" in the late 1950s and early 1960s provides a unique isotopic signature of soil carbon age. We investigated the combined effects of litter quality and soil invertebrate function on soil 14C accumulation patterns. To determine the effects of vegetation types on SOC accumulation, we selected 4 types of cool temperate forests, 2 of which had undergone a vegetation switch in about 1960 (conifer to broadleaved forest, CB; broadleaved forest to conifer, BC), and 2 that had continuous forests (conifer forest, CC; broadleaved forest, BB). The ∆14C values at depth intervals in CC were consistent with the expected bomb-14C profile. In contrast, ∆14C patterns in BB, BC, and CB differed from that of CC. Compared to CC, ∆14C values of the other sites showed relatively high 14C concentrations even in deeper soil layers, which suggests the bomb-induced 14C has been transported to a greater depth by soil animals. Current broadleaved forests (BB and CB) had higher biomass of litter-feeding invertebrates than in current coniferous forests (CC and BC). These results suggest that carbon from leaf litter was vertically translocated to deeper soil layers by the abundant soil invertebrates in broad-leaved forests. Disagreement with the expected soil profile in BC suggests that past vegetation (broadleaved forest) has affected the present SOC accumulation pattern.
    • Environmental Changes of the Aral Sea (Central Asia) in the Holocene: Major Trends

      Krivonogov, S. K.; Kuzmin, Y. V.; Burr, G. S.; Gusskov, S. A.; Khazin, L. B.; Zhakov, E. Y.; Nurgizarinov, A. N.; Kurmanbaev, R. K.; Kenshinbay, T. I. (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2010-01-01)
      Changes of the Aral Sea level have been observed in 3 sediment boreholes, 2 outcrops, and associated archaeological sites. The obtained results are supported by 25 radiocarbon dates. Major trends of lake-level changes have been reconstructed in some detail for the last 2000 yr, and additional data provide an outline of fluctuations throughout the Holocene. Several distinct changes are shown to precede the modern, human-induced regression of the Aral Sea. These include: 1) the latest maximum in the 16th-20th centuries AD (53 m asl); 2) a Medieval "Kerderi" minimum of the 12th-15th centuries AD (29 m asl); 3) the early Medieval maximum of the 4th-11th centuries AD (52 m asl); and 4) a near BC/AD lowstand, whose level is not well established. Since then, events are only inferred from sparse data. The studied cores contain several sandy layers representing the lowering of the lake level within the Holocene, including the buried shore-bar of ~4500 cal BP (38 m asl), and shallow-water sediments of ~5600 cal BP (44 m asl), 7200 cal BP (28 m asl), and 8000 cal BP (26.5 m asl).
    • Establishing a Firm Chronological Framework for Neolithic and Early Dynastic Archaeology in the Shangluo Area, Central China

      Zhu, Y.; Cheng, P.; Yu, S-Y.; Yu, H.; Kang, Z.; Yang, Y.; Jull, A. J. T.; Lange, T.; Zhou, W. (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2010-01-01)
      Technological and theoretical advancements in modern radiocarbon chronology make the precise dating of archaeological and geological events possible. Here, we show examples of how these state-of-the-art methods can be used to establish and refine the archaeological cultural chronology for the Shangluo area in the Qinling Mountains of central China. In this study, the Donglongshan and Zijing sites were dated using the high-precision accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) 14C method. Also, detailed magnetic-susceptibility measurements were conducted at both sites to gain preliminary information about past climate changes. The 14C dates, after being treated with Bayesian statistics, provide a firm constraint on the archaeological chronological framework for this area. Within this framework, the Malan loess-Holocene soil transition can be placed at 10,400-10,090 BC, while the duration of the Yangshao and Longshan cultures was dated to ~4200-2900 and ~2900-2100 BC, respectively, revealing an undisrupted history of human occupation in this area until the early dynastic period. Magnetic susceptibility values began to increase in the early Holocene, indicating a progressive amelioration of regional climate. The widespread development of paleosol during the middle Holocene indicates that warm and wet climate conditions prevailed, providing a favorable environmental context within which the Yangshao culture thrived. Magnetic susceptibility values then decreased from ~2100 BC when the Xia Dynasty started, and loess accumulated again, pointing to cooling and drying climate conditions that may have led to a cultural transition from the Neolithic to the dynastic civilization.
    • Establishment of Chemical Preparation Methods and Development of an Automated Reduction System for AMS Sample Preparation at KIGAM

      Hong, Wan; Park, Jung Hun; Kim, Kyeong J.; Woo, Hyung Joo; Kim, Jun Kon; Choi, Han Woo; Kim, Gi Dong (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2010-01-01)
      Many previous studies on the sample preparation of various kinds of radiocarbon dating samples by accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) have been examined at KIGAM (Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources) and our own procedures have been established. Furthermore, an automated reduction system has been developed. The volume of the reduction region was minimized to improve the reduction yield, and air-actuated pneumatic valves and solenoid arrays were used for computer control of the system. Operation of all the valves and vacuum pumps and signals from the temperature sensors and pressure gauges were interfaced to a personal computer with an A/D board. A computer program was also developed to perform automatic operation of the reduction system. This system consistently shows a higher reduction yield than 90%. The reduction time of the system is currently 140 min.
    • Estimation of Long-Term Trends in the Tropospheric 14CO2 Activity Concentration

      Svetlik, I.; Povinec, P. P.; Molnár, M.; Meinhardt, F.; Michálek, V.; Simon, J.; Svingor, É. (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2010-01-01)
      Fossil CO2 emissions have been diluting the global 14C/C ratio of atmospheric CO2 (Suess effect). We estimated the 14CO2 amount in the atmosphere (and its trend) utilizing the calculated 14CO2 activity concentration in the atmosphere (aacn, reported in mBq m^(-3)). This parameter, calculated from ∆14CO2 and the CO2 mixing ratio (reported in micromoles of CO2 per mole of air), is connected with the 14CO2 quantity in the volume or mass unit of air, which is not influenced by the Suess effect. This parameter can only be influenced by processes linked to 14CO2 emissions/uptake, e.g. associated with atmosphere-biosphere or atmosphere-ocean CO2 exchange as well as by anthropogenic emissions of 14CO2. Results obtained from measurements at Schauinsland station, Germany, indicate a stable amount of 14CO2 in the atmosphere since the early 1990s.
    • Experiences of Production and Homogeneity Analysis of an AMS 14C Sucrose Standard for High-Activity Measurements

      Sydoff, Marie; Stenström, Kristina (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2010-01-01)
      Accurate accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) measurements rely on standards with well-known isotopic ratios. For radiocarbon measurements, a number of standards with different properties are commercially available, of which the IAEA-C6 sucrose standard with a 14C value of 150.61 pMC is the most active. When analyzing biological samples resulting from studies using 14C-labeled substances, the activity content can be up to 100 times this value. Thus, there is a need for a standard material with higher activity content than IAEA-C6 for making accurate AMS measurements on this type of sample. This paper describes the attempts of producing a standard with an activity content of about 10 times modern carbon. The material chosen has to be chemically inert, preferably non-toxic, commercially available in 14C-labeled form, and the activity must be homogeneously distributed within the material. Two different standard materials were considered: urea and sucrose. Sucrose was chosen for the new standard, since it is non-toxic, inexpensive, and organic and on combustion, forms only carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O). In this paper, we discuss our experience in the production and homogeneity analysis of this material, from the crystallization of the sucrose solution to the graphitization of the samples. When using an online combustion method and a septa-sealed vial reduction method, the AMS measurements indicated that the activity was not homogeneously distributed throughout the material. Contrary to this, measurements of the sucrose solution prior to recrystallization indicated that the activity was more homogeneously distributed before than after the recrystallization. In order to determine whether the inhomogeneity depended on the graphitization method (i.e. the combustion or the reduction method) or on the material itself, 3 different graphitization methods and 2 different methods of recrystallization were tested.
    • Experimental Study on the Origin of Cremated Bone Apatite Carbon

      Hüls, C. M.; Erlenkeuser, H.; Nadeau, M.-J.; Grootes, P. M.; Andersen, N. (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2010-01-01)
      Changes of the Aral Sea level have been observed in 3 sediment boreholes, 2 outcrops, and associated archaeological sites. The obtained results are supported by 25 radiocarbon dates. Major trends of lake-level changes have been reconstructed in some detail for the last 2000 yr, and additional data provide an outline of fluctuations throughout the Holocene. Several distinct changes are shown to precede the modern, human-induced regression of the Aral Sea. These include: 1) the latest maximum in the 16th-20th centuries AD (53 m asl); 2) a Medieval "Kerderi" minimum of the 12th-15th centuries AD (29 m asl); 3) the early Medieval maximum of the 4th-11th centuries AD (52 m asl); and 4) a near BC/AD lowstand, whose level is not well established. Since then, events are only inferred from sparse data. The studied cores contain several sandy layers representing the lowering of the lake level within the Holocene, including the buried shore-bar of ~4500 cal BP (38 m asl), and shallow-water sediments of ~5600 cal BP (44 m asl), 7200 cal BP (28 m asl), and 8000 cal BP (26.5 m asl).
    • Extension of the Southern Hemisphere Atmospheric Radiocarbon Curve, 2120-850 Years BP: Results from Tasmanian Huon Pine

      Zimmerman, Susan; Guilderson, Thomas; Buckley, Brendan; Cook, Edward (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2010-01-01)
      Decadal samples of dendrochronologically dated pine (Lagorostrobos franklinii) from the Stanley River basin, Tasmania, have been radiocarbon dated between 2120-850 yr BP. This data set overlaps and extends the current Southern Hemisphere record, which covers the period 110-995 yr BP. There is good agreement between the 2 records between 995-850 yr BP, between sample replicates and with consensus values for standards. As in the younger data set, we find evidence for a distinct but variable offset between the Southern Hemisphere data and IntCal04; although this is likely due to real temporal variability in the interhemispheric offset, further work is planned to rule out possible laboratory or sample preparation differences.
    • Extraction of In Situ Cosmogenic 14C from Olivine

      Pigati, Jeffrey S.; Lifton, Nathaniel A.; Jull, A. J. Timothy; Quade, Jay (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2010-01-01)
      Chemical pretreatment and extraction techniques have been developed previously to extract in situ cosmogenic radiocarbon (in situ 14C) from quartz and carbonate. These minerals can be found in most environments on Earth, but are usually absent from mafic terrains. To fill this gap, we conducted numerous experiments aimed at extracting in situ 14C from olivine ((Fe,Mg)2SiO4). We were able to extract a stable and reproducible in situ 14C component from olivine using stepped heating and a lithium metaborate (LiBO2) flux, following treatment with dilute HNO3 over a variety of experimental conditions. However, measured concentrations for samples from the Tabernacle Hill basalt flow (17.3 +/- 0.3 ka4) in central Utah and the McCarty's basalt flow (3.0 +/- 0.2 ka) in western New Mexico were significantly lower than expected based on exposure of olivine in our samples to cosmic rays at each site. The source of the discrepancy is not clear. We speculate that in situ 14C atoms may not have been released from Mg-rich crystal lattices (the olivine composition at both sites was ~Fo65Fa35). Alternatively, a portion of the 14C atoms released from the olivine grains may have become trapped in synthetic spinel-like minerals that were created in the olivine-flux mixture during the extraction process, or were simply retained in the mixture itself. Regardless, the magnitude of the discrepancy appears to be inversely proportional to the Fe/(Fe+Mg) ratio of the olivine separates. If we apply a simple correction factor based on the chemical composition of the separates, then corrected in situ 14C concentrations are similar to theoretical values at both sites. At this time, we do not know if this agreement is fortuitous or real. Future research should include measurement of in situ 14C concentrations in olivine from known-age basalt flows with different chemical compositions (i.e. more Fe-rich) to determine if this correction is robust for all olivine-bearing rocks.
    • Fire History of a Giant African Baobab Evinced by Radiocarbon Dating

      Patrut, A.; Mayne, D. H.; Von Reden, Karl F.; Lowy, Daniel A.; van Pelt, Robert; McNichol, Ann P.; Roberts, Mark L.; Margineanu, D. (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2010-01-01)
      The article reports the first radiocarbon dating of a live African baobab (Adansonia digitata L.), by investigating wood samples collected from 2 inner cavities of the very large 2-stemmed Platland tree of South Africa. Some 16 segments extracted from determined positions of the samples, which correspond to a depth of up to 15-20 cm in the wood, were processed and analyzed by accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). Calibrated ages of segments are not correlated with their positions in the stems of the tree. Dating results indicate that the segments originate from new growth layers, with a thickness of several centimeters, which cover the original old wood. Four new growth layers were dated before the reference year AD 1950 and 2 layers were dated post-AD 1950, in the post-bomb period. Formation of these layers was triggered by major damage inside the cavities. Fire episodes are the only possible explanation for such successive major wounds over large areas or over the entire area of the inner cavities of the Platland tree, able to trigger regrowth.
    • Fish Reservoir Effect on Charred Food Residue 14C Dates: Are Stable Isotope Analyses the Solution?

      Boudin, M.; Van Strydonck, M.; Crombé, P.; De Clercq, W.; van Dierendonck, R. M.; Jongepier, H.; Ervynck, A.; Lentacker, A. (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2010-01-01)
      In order to verify the relative dating based on pot type morphology and decoration of the Swifterbant pottery collected at the Final Mesolithic site of Doel "Deurganckdok" (Belgium) and of the Late Iron Age pottery excavated at Grijpskerke (the Netherlands), direct radiocarbon dates were obtained on charred food residue preserved on the inner surface of numerous potsherds. In addition, a number of indirect 14C dates were obtained from samples of organic material. In the case of Doel, the results indicate an important incompatibility between the charred food residue dates and the other dates, the former being systematically older. This difference may be explained by a reservoir effect of the charred food residue, caused by the processing of (freshwater) fish. The 14C dates for the rijpskerke site are in agreement between the charred food residue and the organic material. The stable isotopes of the charred food residue were analyzed to demonstrate fish processing in the pottery, but the results were inconclusive.
    • Frequency Distribution of 14C Ages for Chronostratigraphic Reconstructions: Alaska Region Study Case

      Michczyńska, Danuta J.; Hajdas, Irka (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2010-01-01)
      In this study, we test the possibility of using databases of radiocarbon ages to estimate boundaries of climatic chronozones. The Alaska region was chosen and compared with chronozones of 2 European countries: Poland and the Netherlands. The study included setting up a database of 14C ages published for climatic records from Alaska. Some 974 14C determinations on organic samples were selected and used to establish chronozones for the Late Glacial and the Holocene for the Alaska region. The selected data were calibrated and a summed probability density function (PDF) was calculated. The shape analysis of the constructed frequency distribution of 14C dates on calendar timescales together with the assumption about preferential sampling seems to be a useful tool for establishing calendar ages for boundaries of climatic periods, i.e. chronozones.
    • High Contribution of Recalcitrant Organic Matter to DOC in a Japanese Oligotrophic Lake Revealed by 14C Measurements

      Nara, Fumiko Watanabe; Imai, Akio; Uchida, Masao; Matsushige, Kazuo; Komatsu, Kazuhiro; Kawasaki, Nobuyuki; Shibata, Yasuyuki; Amano, Kunihiko; Mikami, Hajime; Hanaishi, Ryuji (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2010-01-01)
      Carbon isotopes (14C and 13C) of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in a Japanese oligotrophic lake (Lake Towada) were measured to study the origin and cycling of dissolved organic matter (DOM) in Lake Towada. Lake water samples were collected at 3 depths (0, 30, and 80 or 85 m) during 4 months (April, June, August, and October) in 2006. 14C measurements of DOC were performed by accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) at the National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES-TERRA) in Japan. ∆14C and delta-13C values of DOC in Lake Towada showed light carbon isotopic values ranging from -750 to -514v and -29.0 to -27.8‰, respectively. These values are similar to those of humic substances reported. The very low carbon isotopic values of DOC in Lake Towada suggest a very small contribution of DOC derived from fresh phytoplankton to the lake DOC. There is an extremely high linear relationship between the ∆14C and delta-13C of DOC in Lake Towada when all data points are plotted (r2 = 0.818, p < 0.01), suggesting that the DOC in Lake Towada has 2 specific sources contributing heavy and light carbon isotopes. Although the freshly produced DOC of phytoplankton origin can be decomposed easily, the variation in the autochthonous DOC should influence the carbon isotopic values of DOC in Lake Towada.
    • High-Precision Radiocarbon Dating of the Construction Phase of Oakbank Crannog, Loch Tay, Perthshire

      Cook, G. T.; Dixon, T. N.; Russell, N.; Naysmith, P.; Xu, S.; Andrian, B. (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2010-01-01)
      Many of the Loch Tay crannogs were built in the Early Iron Age and so calibration of the radiocarbon ages produces very broad calendar age ranges due to the well-documented Hallstatt plateau in the calibration curve. However, the large oak timbers that were used in the construction of some of the crannogs potentially provide a means of improving the precision of the dating through subdividing them into decadal or subdecadal increments, dating them to high precision and wiggle-matching the resulting data to the master 14C calibration curve. We obtained a sample from 1 oak timber from Oakbank Crannog comprising 70 rings (Sample OB06 WMS 1, T103) including sapwood that was complete to the bark edge. The timber is situated on the northeast edge of the main living area of the crannog and as a large and strong oak pile would have been a useful support in more than 1 phase of occupation and may be related to the earliest construction phase of the site. This was sectioned into 5-yr increments and dated to a precision of approximately 8-16 14C yr (1 ). The wiggle-match predicts that the last ring dated was formed around 500 BC (maximum range of 520-465 BC) and should be taken as indicative of the likely time of construction of Oakbank Crannog. This is a considerable improvement on the estimates based on single 14C ages made on oak samples, which typically encompassed the period from around 800-400 BC.
    • Holocene Variations of Radiocarbon Reservoir Ages in a Mediterranean Lagoonal System

      Sabatier, P.; Dezileau, L.; Blanchemanche, P.; Siani, G.; Condomines, M.; Bentaleb, I.; Piquès, G. (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2010-01-01)
      To obtain a precise radiocarbon Holocene chronology in coastal areas, it is necessary to estimate the modern 14C reservoir age R(t) and its possible variations with time in relation to paleoenvironmental changes. The modern reservoir 14C age was estimated by comparing AMS 14C ages of 2 recent mollusk shells found in sediment cores sampled in the Palavasian lagoonal system (south of France) with ages derived from 210Pb and 137Cs data and historical accounts of identifiable storm events. The calculated modern R(t) value of 943 +/- 25 14C yr is about 600 yr higher than the global mean sea surface reservoir age. This high value, probably due to the relative isolation of the lagoon from marine inputs, is in good agreement with other R(t) estimates in Mediterranean lagoonal systems (Zoppi et al. 2001; Sabatier et al. 2008). 14C ages were also obtained on a series of Holocene mollusk shells sampled at different depths of the ~8-m-long core PB06. Careful examination of the 14C ages versus depth relationships suggests that R(t) in the past was lower and similar to the value presently measured in the Gulf of Lion (618 +/- 30 14C yr, Siani et al. 2000). The change in R(t) from 618 to 943 yr is thought to result from final closure of the coastal lagoon by the sandy barrier, due to the along-shore sediment transfer.