• Contradictions in the Relative Chronology: Archaeological and Radiocarbon Dating

      Stöckli, Werner E. (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2009-01-01)
      When comparing dendrodates and radiocarbon dates, I advocate using the mean value for archaeologically defined data series, as in the usual case, the correct dating is always more precise than the calibrated areas. However, in the extreme gradient of the calibration curve, we must consider the errors. Based on the Corded Ware from the Tauber basin, I put forward a first example in which a contradiction between the archaeological and 14C dating occurs. If one cleanly separates the older measurements from Kln and the younger ones from Heidelberg, the contradiction towards the archaeological dating is canceled out when only the younger Heidelberg dates are taken into account. Regarding the Early Bronze Age, I shall first deal with the cemetery at Singen and will show, using the typology and the horizontal distribution of the graves, how outliers can be identified, thus narrowing the range for dating of the cemetery. The comparison of 2 archaeologically contemporaneous cemeteries in the Neckar basin (Rottenburg and Gufelden) again results in contradictions between the archaeological and 14C dating. In this case, the contradictions cannot be solved without any new dating measurements. It is recommended that these should be carried out by at least 2 laboratories. Finally, some recommendations are given to archaeologists. In my opinion, 14C dates that are archaeologically unsuitable should be used to check the findings and the archaeological-typological classification. The contradictions should be reported immediately to the 14C laboratory, so that any possible experimental errors can be identified..