The Impact of Accelerator Dating at the Early Village of Abu Hureyra on the Euphrates
CitationMoore, A. M. T. (1992). The impact of accelerator dating at the early village of Abu Hureyra on the Euphrates. Radiocarbon, 34(3), 850-858.
DescriptionFrom the 14th International Radiocarbon Conference held in Tucson, AZ, May 20-24, 1991.
AbstractThe early village of Abu Hureyra is significant because of its great size (ca. 11.5 ha) and long sequence of occupation (ca. 11,500-7000 BP) that spans the transition from late Pleistocene hunting and gathering to early Holocene farming, and the cultural change from Epipaleolithic to Neolithic. The 40 accelerator dates obtained for Abu Hureyra provide new information on the development of agriculture in Southwest Asia. The dates have demonstrated that the site was inhabited for much longer than the few conventional radiocarbon dates for the site had suggested. The gap between the Epipaleolithic and Neolithic villages seems to have been brief. A change in climate and vegetation, dated at ca. 10,600 BP, during the span of occupation of the Epipaleolithic village, precipitated an adjustment in the foraging way of life of its inhabitants just before the inception of agriculture. Dating of individual bones and seeds has shown that the wild progenitors of sheep and several cereals were present near Abu Hureyra in the late Pleistocene and early Holocene, well outside their present areas of distribution. This has implications for where those species may have been domesticated. A rapid switch from exploitation of the gazelle to herding of sheep and goats during the Neolithic occupation occurred ca. 8300 BP.