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Radiocarbon Calibration and Analysis of Stratigraphy: The OxCal Program

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Abstract

People usually study the chronologies of archaeological sites and geological sequences using many different kinds of evidence, taking into account calibrated radiocarbon dates, other dating methods and stratigraphic information. Many individual case studies demonstrate the value of using statistical methods to combine these different types of information. I have developed a computer program, OxCal, running under Windows 3.1 (for IBM PCs), that will perform both 14 C calibration and calculate what extra information can be gained from stratigraphic evidence. The program can perform automatic wiggle matches and calculate probability distributions for samples in sequences and phases. The program is written in C++ and uses Bayesian statistics and Gibbs sampling for the calculations. The program is very easy to use, both for simple calibration and complex site analysis, and will produce graphical output from virtually any printer.

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... Software packages exist to produce probabilistic age models using radiocarbon ages (Blaauw & Christen 2011;Lougheed & Obrachta, 2019) or benthic δ 18 O alignments (Lin et al., 2014;Ahn et al., 2017), but none of these probabilistically combine age inferences from both dating techniques. Furthermore, many of these packages were not specifically designed for marine sediment cores (Ramsey, 1995;Blaauw, 2010;Blaauw & Christen 2011) and default settings may not accurately reflect the probability of sediment accumulation rate variability in marine settings. Users must often 40 subjectively choose parameter settings which may ultimately affect the interpretation of a study. ...
... The uncertainty of the calibrated age is a combination of the calibration curve uncertainty, the radiocarbon measurement uncertainty, and the marine reservoir age uncertainty. Techniques to calibrate radiocarbon ages have evolved from interpolation techniques such as Calib (Stuiver & Reimer, 1993) to Bayesian calibration methods (e.g., Oxcal by Ramsey, 1995;Bcal by Buck and Christen, 1999;Matcal by Lougheed & Obractha, 2016) which typically generate asymmetric, nonparametric calendar age distributions due to slope 70 changes in the calibration curve. ...
... The median age model and age model uncertainty depend on the radiocarbon calibration method, the applied sedimentation rate constraints, and the outlier identification procedure 80 (Christen, 1994;Ramsey, 2009b, Christen & Peréz, 2009. Multiple software packages have been published to construct probabilistic radiocarbon age models that apply a variety of statistical techniques (e.g., Ramsey, 1995Ramsey, , 2001Ramsey, , 2008Ramsey, , 2013Blaauw & Christen, 2005;Blaauw, 2010;Blaauw & Christen, 2011;Lougheed & Obrachta, 2019). ...
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Previously developed software packages that generate probabilistic age models for ocean sediment cores are designed to use either age proxies (e.g., radiocarbon or tephra layers) or stratigraphic alignment (e.g., of benthic δ18O) and cannot combine age inferences from both techniques. Furthermore, many radiocarbon dating packages are not specifically designed for marine sediment cores and default settings may not accurately reflect the probability of sedimentation rate variability in the deep ocean, requiring subjective tuning of parameter settings. Here we present a new technique for generating Bayesian age models and stacks using ocean sediment core radiocarbon and benthic δ18O data, implemented in a software package named BIGMACS (Bayesian Inference Gaussian Process regression and Multiproxy Alignment of Continuous Signals). BIGMACS constructs multiproxy age models by combining age inferences from both radiocarbon ages and benthic δ18O stratigraphic alignment and constrains sedimentation rates using an empirically derived prior model based on 37 14C-dated ocean sediment cores (Lin et al., 2014). BIGMACS also constructs continuous benthic δ18O stacks via a Gaussian process regression, which requires a smaller number of cores than previous stacking methods. This feature allows users to construct stacks for a region that shares a homogeneous deep water δ18O signal, while leveraging radiocarbon dates across multiple cores. Thus, BIGMACS efficiently generates local or regional stacks with smaller uncertainties in both age and δ18O than previously available techniques. We present two example regional benthic δ18O stacks and demonstrate that the multiproxy age models produced by BIGMACS are more precise than their single proxy counterparts.
... Even with the recent IntCal20 publication, calibrated dates from Gund-i Topzawa changed by less than a decade. Inputting the raw radiocarbon dates, expressed as years BP, into the calibration curve, usually done using software like OxCal, returns a date range (Bronk Ramsey 1995;2009). Given the precision and irregularity of the calibration curve and the laboratory error from the radiocarbon's BP determination, this returns a probabilistic output of dates. ...
... Even with the recent IntCal20 publication, calibrated dates from Gund-i Topzawa changed by less than a decade. Inputting the raw radiocarbon dates, expressed as years BP, into the calibration curve, usually done using software like OxCal, returns a date range (Bronk Ramsey 1995;2009). Given the precision and irregularity of the calibration curve and the laboratory error from the radiocarbon's BP determination, this returns a probabilistic output of dates. ...
Article
Small polities of marginal borderland regions in the Near East were often pushed and pulled by their far larger neighbors’ political and economic spheres, forced to adapt to their social and environmental situation to thrive and maintain independence. The kingdom of Muṣaṣir, the home to the chief Urartian deity, Ḫaldi, lay in one of these frontier zones in the rugged mountains of northeast Iraq. Despite the significance of the kingdom’s temple for the Urartian kings’ religious ideology, the steep peaks and narrow flatlands of Muṣaṣir’s environs were ill-suited to substantial occupation. In order to locate Muṣaṣir and better understand the settlement behaviors of ancient occupation in the Sidekan subdistrict of Erbil, Iraq, the Rowanduz Archaeological Program (RAP) commenced a series of excavations and a survey in 2013. Excavation of the rural homestead of Gund-i Topzawa provided a dataset to investigate the reasons for settlement in this marginal environment. Synchronizing archaeological data to the Middle Iron Age (1050–550 BCE) Neo-Assyrian campaign texts and illustrations led to broader research questions exploring the factors driving the region’s chronologically limited sedentary occupation and the impact coopting a religious system has on the local polity and its appropriators. This study publishes the ceramic typology, stratigraphic, and architectural findings from the excavations of Gund-i Topzawa and Sidekan Bank, as well as the collected pottery and occupation qualities of surveyed sites in the Sidekan subdistrict (2014–2016). The pottery sequence, structural characteristics, and settlement patterns added to the understanding of the chronological sequence of the northern Zagros Mountains and further confirmed the locational specificity of Muṣaṣir with the Ḫaldi temple’s likely location at Mudjesir. Modeling the Iron Age populace’s ecological adaptations to environmental, social, and political stimuli indicate the interaction of cultural and technology factors first spurred Sidekan’s sedentary occupation in the Late Bronze Age, and the later cooption of Ḫaldi by the Urartian kings led to the area’s subsequent stagnation and contraction as the god’s appropriators declined.
... Today, conventional 14 C ages are calibrated using advanced Bayesian statistical tools that include dedicated routines for the different calibration curves, the most commonly used modelling tools are OxCal (Ramsey, 1995;Ramsey et al., 2020) and MatCal (Lougheed and Obrochta, 2016). Calibrated 14 C ages are referred to as a calendar age counted backwards from 0 cal BP (before present) which corresponds to 1950 Common Era (CE, previously referred to as AD) or to calendar years Before Common Era (BCE, previously referred to as BC). ...
... To calculate sedimentation and accumulation rates an age-depth model is constructed using the calibrated dates. Classical age-depth models can be constructed in software such as CLAM (Blaauw, 2010), but more commonly Bayesian statistical packages such as OxCal (Ramsey, 1995;Ramsey, 2009), and BACON (Blaauw and Christen, 2011), are applied to create models that fully account for uncertainties allowing for the calculation of sedimentation and accumulation rates. ...
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Continental shelf sediments store large amounts of organic carbon. Protecting this carbon from release back into the marine system and managing the marine environment to maximize its rate of accumulation could both play a role in mitigating climate change. For these reasons, in the context of an expanding “Blue Carbon” concept, research interest in the quantity and vulnerability of carbon stored in continental shelf, slope, and deep ocean sediments is increasing. In these systems, carbon storage is physically distant from carbon sources, altered between source and sink, and disturbed by anthropogenic activities. The methodological approaches needed to obtain the evidence to assess shelf sea sediment carbon manageability and vulnerability within an evolving blue carbon framework cannot be transferred directly from those applied in coastal vegetated “traditional” blue carbon habitats. We present a toolbox of methods which can be applied in marine sediments to provide the evidence needed to establish where and when marine carbon in offshore sediments can contribute to climate mitigation, focusing on continental shelf sediments. These methods are discussed in the context of the marine carbon cycle and how they provide evidence on: (i) stock: how much carbon is there and how is it distributed? (ii) accumulation: how rapidly is carbon being added or removed? and (iii) anthropogenic pressures: is carbon stock and/or accumulation vulnerable to manageable human activities? Our toolbox provides a starting point to inform choice of techniques for future studies alongside consideration of their specific research questions and available resources. Where possible, a stepwise approach to analyses should be applied in which initial parameters are analysed to inform which samples, if any, will provide information of interest from more resource-intensive analyses. As studies increasingly address the knowledge gaps around continental shelf carbon stocks and accumulation – through both sampling and modelling – the management of this carbon with respect to human pressures will become the key question for understanding where it fits within the blue carbon framework and within the climate mitigation discourse.
... Lead dating was carried out at the University of Exeter laboratories. The absolute chronology is based on the Bayesian age-depth model based on combined 14 C and 210 Pb dates calculated using OxCal 4.2 software (Bronk Ramsey, 1995;2008; P_Sequence function, model parameters: k 0 = 1, log 10 (k/k 0 ) = 2, and interpolation = 1 cm). As the calibration set, we used IntCal20 (Reimer et al., 2020) and post-bomb NH1 (Hua et al., 2021) atmospheric curves. ...
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The Białowieża Primeval Forest is one of the most pristine forested and peatland areas in Europe, as recognized by its status as the World Biosphere Reserve. Palaeoecological analyzes offer the possibility of establishing a record of ecosystem change over time, and therefore setting reference conditions for their assessment, protection and restoration. To assess the impact of hydrological changes, fire and pollution (dust, metals from smelting) on peatland and forest ecosystems, we carried out high-resolution, multi-proxy palaeoecological investigations of two peat cores (50 cm long) from nearby locations at a peatland located in the protected area (nature reserve) of the Białowieża Forest (CE Poland). Our study revealed that: i) between about 1780 and 1920 CE high fire activity likely caused by humans led to a partly decline in dwarf shrubs at the sampling sites; ii) between about 1910 and 1930 CE distinctive changes in local and regional plant succession took place that can be considered as a sign of disturbance in the peatland ecosystems; iii) during the last three decades we recorded a recent decrease of trace metals and pollen indicating a decrease in human activity. These changes are synchronous with a decrease of industrial activity and curbing of emission through legislation as well as the ongoing depopulation of villages in E Poland that started in 1990. Our data suggest that even well-preserved peatlands, located in protected areas might be far from their pristine state, predominantly due to disturbance effects from the past still lingering on. Nevertheless, the studied area remains one of the best-preserved forest ecosystems in Europe, despite the negative impact of human activity (deforestation, fires, hunting) over the past few centuries.
... uk/ oxcal/ OxCal. html) [46] with the SHCal20 southern hemisphere calibration curve [47]. ...
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The accessioning of ancient textiles into museum collections often requires objective information regarding the object’s appropriateness and authenticity before purchase or gift acceptance. In the case of colored fabrics, the identification of dyestuffs consistent with the attributed time period and culture builds confidence and reduces the chances of the object being a simple forgery or fake produced using modern materials. Moreover, this information adds to the technical, cultural, and conservation knowledge regarding the object. Increasingly, chronometric age estimates in the form of radiocarbon dating are also needed to establish the object’s age or to further prove the materials match the purported date range of the textile. Each of these analyses consumes a small sample of the object, and typically they are conducted separately by different laboratories on individual sample yarns. This report demonstrates for the first time the sequential, combined analysis of dyes by liquid chromatography-diode array detection-mass spectrometry and radiocarbon dating of the same residual dye-extracted sample. The chemicals and solvents used in various dye extraction protocols are shown not to contaminate the extracted yarns for radiocarbon dating purposes. The approach was used in the authentication study of an ancient Nazca tunic made from natural fibers (wool) and dyes (indigoids, anthraquinones, and flavonoids) shown to have most likely been produced between 595 and 665 CE.
... All dates were calibrated with 95.4% probability unless otherwise noted using IntCal20 (Reimer et al., 2020). Symbol key: Dates calibrated with OxCal 3.10 (Bronk Ramsey, 1995Ramsey, , 2001, IntCal13 (Reimer et al., 2013). fauna skeletal material have been found. ...
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Southern Central Asia witnessed widespread expansion in urbanism and exchange, between roughly 2200 and 1500 B.C., fostering a new cultural florescence, sometimes referred to as the Greater Khorasan Civilization. Decades of detailed archeological investigation have focused on the development of urban settlements, political systems, and inter-regional exchange within and across the broader region, but little is known about the agricultural systems that supported these cultural changes. In this paper, we present the archaeobotanical results of material recovered from Togolok 1, a proto-urban settlement along the Murghab River alluvial fan located in southeastern Turkmenistan. This macrobotanical assemblage dates to the late 3rd - early 2nd millennia B.C., a time associated with important cultural transformations in southern Central Asia. We demonstrate that people at the site were cultivating and consuming a diverse range of crops including, barley, wheat, legumes, grapes, and possibly plums and apples or pears. This, together with the associated material culture and zooarchaeological evidence, suggest a regionally adapted mixed agropastoral economy. The findings at Togolok 1 contribute to the ongoing discussion of dietary choices, human/landscape interactions, and the adaptation of crops to diverse ecosystems in prehistoric Central Asia.
... All samples were previously cleaned with deionized water and dried at 40 • C to prevent mold formation. Conventional 14 C ages were calibrated using OxCal 4.4 (Ramsey, 1995;Ramsey and Lee, 2013) with the IntCal 20 and Marine 20 curves (Reimer et al., 2020). Five dates on shells from Parlagreco et al. (2011) were recalibrated following facies attribution (brackish/lagoon vs marine) and the suggested correction of 487 ± 29 y for the Central Adriatic Sea (Table 1). ...
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The Bronze to Iron Age underground salt mining complex of Hallstatt (Austria) is widely recognised for its cultural importance and wealth of archaeological artefacts. However, while the daily life in the salt mines is archaeologically well documented and environmental effects of the mining activity have been investigated recently, the impact of natural hazards on the prehistoric mining community is still poorly understood. For instance, while it is well established that the prehistoric underground mines have repeatedly been destroyed by large‐scale mass movements, only little is known about the characteristics and extent of these events as well as about mass‐movement recurrence during more recent times. To shed light on past mass‐movement activity in the vicinity of the Hallstatt salt mines, we investigated sediment cores from adjacent Lake Hallstatt. Within the regular lake sediments we identified three large‐scale event deposits, which are interpreted to originate from spontaneous or seismically induced mass movements in the mid‐19th and late 9th century ce and the mid‐4th century bce. While the age of the latter event is in good agreement with the abandonment of the famous Iron Age cemetery at Hallstatt, the younger events indicate that large‐scale mass movements also occurred repeatedly during the Common Era.
Article
Evidence for Final Palaeolithic and Mesolithic occupation at Maryport, Cumbria, was discovered during the excavation of Roman occupation features by CFA Archaeology Ltd. A varied lithic assemblage was recovered including worked flint (55%) and tuff (43%), with the rest consisting of a small amount of chert, chalcedony, and rhyolite. Early occupation, probably dating to the Final Palaeolithic Federmesser-Gruppen, is demonstrated through different technological styles among the lithic assemblage. Three phases of activity were identified from cut features and there was a significant amount of charred hazelnut shell, which gave radiocarbon dates centring around 8200 cal BCE. This site provides the first clear evidence that tuff was exploited directly from sources in the Central Lake District, possibly as early as the Final Palaeolithic. The occupation evidence also demonstrates intensive processing of hazelnuts centring around 8200 cal BCE and lasting for 150–558 years. The dates and occupation span are almost identical to those derived from the Mesolithic structure at Cass ny Hawin 2 on the Isle of Man.
Article
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Annually laminated lake sediment can track paleoenvironmental change at high resolution where alternative archives are often not available. However, information about the chronology is often affected by indistinct and intermittent laminations. Traditional chronology building struggles with these kinds of laminations, typically failing to adequately estimate uncertainty or discarding the information recorded in the laminations entirely, despite their potential to improve chronologies. We present an approach that overcomes the challenge of indistinct or intermediate laminations and other obstacles by using a quantitative lamination quality index combined with a multi-core, multi-observer Bayesian lamination sedimentation model that quantifies realistic under- and over-counting uncertainties while integrating information from radiometric measurements (210Pb, 137Cs, and 14C) into the chronology. We demonstrate this approach on sediment of indistinct and intermittently laminated sequences from alpine Columbine Lake, Colorado. The integrated model indicates 3137 (95 % highest probability density range: 2753–3375) varve years with a cumulative posterior distribution of counting uncertainties of −13 % to +7 %, indicative of systematic observer under-counting. Our novel approach provides a realistic constraint on sedimentation rates and quantifies uncertainty in the varve chronology by quantifying over- and under-counting uncertainties related to observer bias as well as the quality and variability of the sediment appearance. The approach permits the construction of a chronology and sedimentation rates for sites with intermittent or indistinct laminations, which are likely more prevalent than sequences with distinct laminations, especially when considering non-lacustrine sequences, and thus expands the possibilities of reconstructing past environmental change with high resolution.
Article
A radiocarbon-dated sediment core collected from the small freshwater Lake Kamenistoe, in the central part of the Kola Peninsula, provides a pollen record of vegetation and climate history of this part of Fennoscandia and the European Arctic during the past ca. 13,000 years. In contrast to existing Scandinavian Ice Sheet reconstructions, the record shows that the study site was ice-free at 13 cal. kyr BP, thus allows to improve our knowledge on deglaciation dynamics in North Europe. The biome reconstruction results together with other pollen records from the wider region suggest that forest-tundra surrounded Kamenistoe at the end of the Bølling-Allerød interstadial and that the reconstructed presence of trees is not determined by far-distance pollen transport. The spread of pine in the study region started ca. 9.3 cal. kyr BP, and maximum pollen percentages during 8.2–4.2 cal. kyr BP mark the Holocene thermal optimum. Progressive climate cooling accompanied by increasing moisture levels from 6 cal. kyr BP is indicated by the spread of spruce (boreal evergreen conifer), reflecting the expansion of taiga forests. In contrast to some previous interpretations, we argue that the spread of pine in the Early Holocene and spruce in the Middle Holocene did not follow zonal expansions, but rather originated from scattered small populations withing the study region. Archaeological records from northern Fennoscandia suggest that postglacial human occupation on the Kola Peninsula began no later than 10,000 years ago. This northward expansion of hunter-gatherers was likely related to the continuous Early Holocene warming, which not only resulted in less harsh climatic conditions for human occupation, but may have also pushed reindeer populations to the study region. This game animal, which has been a major resource for humans, prefers July temperatures below 12–13 °C and thus may have migrated to cooler environments during the Early Holocene.
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At least five surface rupturing earthquakes that occurred during a <300 year time span near Carson City, Nevada, USA form a spatiotemporal cluster of earthquakes similar to those observed on fault systems around the world. These earthquakes exhibit not only temporal clustering behavior, but also have varying rupture boundaries during successive earthquakes. The Carson Range Fault System is a series of east‐dipping normal faults that extend ∼100 km southwards from Reno, Nevada. Previously published paleoseismic and lidar data spanning this system provide evidence of five surface rupturing earthquakes that occurred across the Carson Range Fault System during the last 2,500 years. The three most recent of these earthquakes occurred from 800 to 500 cal ybp, and two other earthquakes occurred on the nearby Incline Village and East Carson Valley faults during this time. Together these five Mw6.4–7.3 earthquakes form a spatiotemporal cluster or supercycle.
Preprint
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In the mainland of Northwest Europe generally only remnants of former peat landscapes subsist. Due to the poor preservation of these landscapes, alternative approaches to reconstruct peat initiation and lateral expansion are needed compared to regions with intact peat cover. Here we aim (1) to find explanatory variables within a digital soil mapping approach that allow us to reconstruct the pattern of peat initiation and lateral expansion within (and potentially beyond) peat remnants, and (2) to reconstruct peat initiation ages and lateral expansion for one of the largest bog remnants of the Northwest European mainland, the Fochteloërveen. Basal radiocarbon dates were obtained from the peat remnant, which formed the basis for subsequent analyses. We investigated the relationship between peat initiation age and three potential covariates: (1) total thickness of organic deposits, (2) elevation of the Pleistocene mineral surface that underlies the organic deposits, and (3) a constructed variable representing groundwater-fed wetness based on elevation of the mineral surface and current hydraulic head. Significant relationships were found with covariate (1) and (3), which were hence used for subsequent modelling. Our results indicate simultaneous peat initiation at several loci in the Fochteloërveen during the Early Holocene, and continuous lateral expansion until 900 cal y BP. Lateral expansion accelerated between 5,500–3,500 cal y BP. Our approach is spatially explicit (i.e., results in a map of peat initiation ages), and allows for a quantitative evaluation of the prediction using the standard deviation and comparison of predictions with validation points. The applied method based on covariate (1) is only useful where remnant peat survived, whereas covariate (3) may ultimately be applied to reconstruct peat initiation ages and lateral peatland expansion beyond the limits of peat remnants.
Article
On rocky tectonic coasts, data from Holocene marine terraces may constrain the timing of coseismic uplift and help identify the causative faults. Challenges in marine terrace investigations include: 1) identifying the uplift datums; 2) obtaining ages that tightly constrain the timing of uplift; 3) distinguishing tsunami deposits from beach deposits on terraces; and 4) identifying missing terraces and hence earthquakes. We address some of these challenges through comparing modern beach sediments and radiocarbon ages with those from a trench excavated across three terraces at Aramoana, central Hikurangi Subduction Margin, New Zealand. Sedimentary analyses identified beach and dune deposits on terraces but could not differentiate specific environments within them. Modern beach shells yielded modern radiocarbon ages, regardless of position or species, showing age inheritance and habitat is likely not an issue when dating shells on these terraces. By integrating terrace mapping, stratigraphy, morphology, and radiocarbon ages we develop a conceptual model of coastal uplift and terrace formation following at least two, possibly three, earthquakes at 5490–5070, 2620–2180, and 950–650 cal. yr BP. A high step and time gap between the upper two terraces raises the possibility that at least one intervening terrace is completely eroded. The trench exposure also showed that terrace stratigraphy may differ from that inferred from surface geomorphology, with apparent beach ridges being of composite origin and draping of younger beach deposits on the outer edge of a previous terrace. Dislocation modelling and comparison of marine terrace and earthquake ages from ~4 km south and ≤73 km north confirms that the most likely earthquake source is the nearshore, landward‐dipping, Kairakau Fault. Alternative sources, such as multi‐fault ruptures of the Kairakau‐Waimārama faults or Hikurangi subduction earthquakes, and/or a combination of the two are also possible and should be examined in future studies.
Article
The current study focuses on the remains of an adult male individual unearthed during archaeological excavations inside the church of San Biagio in Cittiglio (Northern Italy). The skull displayed four lesions in the form of defects in the cranium that involved the occipital squama, the right nuchal portion, the right parietal, and the right occipito-mastoid area. At macroscopic observation, the lesions showed polished surfaces, sharp margins, V-shaped cross-sections, and evidence of parallel microstriations. The investigation required a multi-analytical approach, which combined macroscopic assessment, computed tomography, photogrammetric three-dimensional reconstruction, and 3D digital microscopy that allowed us to obtain a morphometric characterization of the evidence. Our objective was to reconstruct the dynamics of an ancient violent event by applying a modern scientific approach to the analysis of the injuries observed in the skull of an osteoarchaeological individual. Digital microscopy allowed us to evaluate the micromorphometric aspect of the lesions, and to obtain microscopic quantitative data such as linear and angular measurements in the three dimensions. The complete absence of bone reaction at the site of the lesions revealed the perimortem nature of the injuries. Through the holistic, combined approach employed in the current study it was concluded that this individual was most likely struck four times in rapid succession from behind with a straight bladed implement, consistent in form with a long sword of the time. At the end of our study, it was possible to reconstruct the dynamics for each lesion and to hypothesize the reconstructive sequence of the violent event.
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Despite decades of lively debate about Taiwan’s role in the spread of early agriculture, crops and cultivation practices to the Indo-Pacific region, there is little archaeobotanical data from the island. Here we present the first directly dated and systematically analysed macrobotanical records from Taiwan obtained by flotation at the archaeological site Sanbaopi 5 (23°07′03′′N, 120°15′32′′E), representing the Dahu (1400 BCE–100 CE) and Niaosong (100–1400 CE) culture periods. The results suggest that Middle Dahu (900–100 BCE) communities in the study area practiced rainfed crop cultivation with mainly foxtail (Setaria italica) and broomcorn (Panicum miliaceum) millet and rice (Oryza sativa). Pulses (Vigna angularis, Glycine soja/max) were also part of the subsistence of local farmers and used as supplementary food and/or green manure. The archaeobotanical record together with archaeological site data for prehistoric China substantiates evidence that the Dahu culture originates in the Lower Yellow River region and migrated to Taiwan along the East China Sea coast. The emergence of the Dahu culture coincided with the spread of mixed millet-rice farming to the Korean Peninsula and Japan and was possibly related to enhanced economic and political expansion of the Shang and Western Zhou dynasties and the long-term weakening of summer monsoon precipitation. Pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan) and mung bean (V. radiata var. radiata) assemblages from the sixth century CE Niaosong period highlight the influx of goods, crops, knowledge and people from South and Southeast Asia via southern routes in the context of enhanced exchange across the South China Sea region.
Chapter
A unique interdisciplinary study of the relationships between climate, hydrology and human society from 20,000 years ago to the present day within the Jordan Valley. It describes how state-of-the-art models can simulate the past, present and future climates of the Near East, reviews and provides new evidence for environmental change from geological deposits, builds hydrological models for the River Jordan and associated wadis and explains how present day urban and rural communities manage their water supply. The volume provides a new approach and new methods that can be applied for exploring the relationships between climate, hydrology and human society in arid and semi-arid regions throughout the world. It is an invaluable reference for researchers and advanced students concerned with the impacts of climate change and hydrology on human society, especially in the Near East.
Article
The Great Sandy National Park [K’gari (Fraser Island) and Cooloola] contains the largest subtropical patterned fen complexes in the world. These globally significant, groundwater-dependent ecosystems have been previously studied in relatively undisturbed areas on K’gari and were suggested to be resilient to changes in hydrology, sea level and wildfires. The Rainbow Beach patterned fens are under-studied systems thought to be formed in local perched aquifers. The palaeoenvironmental conditions required for the formation and continuation of these peatlands, and how they react to changes in hydroclimate, sea level and human activities are uncertain. We attempt to resolve this ambiguity using proxies for vegetation and environmental changes over the last ~12,770 cal yr BP from a sediment core located in the Rainbow Beach patterned fen complex. We infer the formation of an aquitard layer and Empodisma minus mire development at ~12,770 cal yr BP, with conditions conducive for patterning ~12,000–10,000 cal yr BP. Paludification occurred in the early Holocene, coincident with increased sea levels, which expanded the mire inland. Increased salt marsh taxa during this period coincides with decreased E. minus values, while further peatland development occurred ~4200 cal yr BP, suggesting that marine influences greatly effect these coastal peatlands. Evidence of vegetation thickening associated with post-European fire suppression was observed. Compared to those on K’gari, the Rainbow Beach complex appears to have initiated through different processes and show greater sensitivity to changes in sea levels. Therefore, subtropical patterned fens should be assessed independently to identify individual trajectories and sensitivities.
Chapter
A unique interdisciplinary study of the relationships between climate, hydrology and human society from 20,000 years ago to the present day within the Jordan Valley. It describes how state-of-the-art models can simulate the past, present and future climates of the Near East, reviews and provides new evidence for environmental change from geological deposits, builds hydrological models for the River Jordan and associated wadis and explains how present day urban and rural communities manage their water supply. The volume provides a new approach and new methods that can be applied for exploring the relationships between climate, hydrology and human society in arid and semi-arid regions throughout the world. It is an invaluable reference for researchers and advanced students concerned with the impacts of climate change and hydrology on human society, especially in the Near East.
Article
Annually resolved measurements of the radiocarbon content in tree-rings have revealed rare sharp rises in carbon-14 production. These ‘Miyake events’ are likely produced by rare increases in cosmic radiation from the Sun or other energetic astrophysical sources. The radiocarbon produced is not only circulated through the Earth’s atmosphere and oceans, but also absorbed by the biosphere and locked in the annual growth rings of trees. To interpret high-resolution tree-ring radiocarbon measurements therefore necessitates modelling the entire global carbon cycle. Here, we introduce ‘ ticktack ’ ( https://github.com/SharmaLlama/ticktack/ ), the first open-source Python package that connects box models of the carbon cycle with modern Bayesian inference tools. We use this to analyse all public annual 14 C tree data, and infer posterior parameters for all six known Miyake events. They do not show a consistent relationship to the solar cycle, and several display extended durations that challenge either astrophysical or geophysical models.
Chapter
A unique interdisciplinary study of the relationships between climate, hydrology and human society from 20,000 years ago to the present day within the Jordan Valley. It describes how state-of-the-art models can simulate the past, present and future climates of the Near East, reviews and provides new evidence for environmental change from geological deposits, builds hydrological models for the River Jordan and associated wadis and explains how present day urban and rural communities manage their water supply. The volume provides a new approach and new methods that can be applied for exploring the relationships between climate, hydrology and human society in arid and semi-arid regions throughout the world. It is an invaluable reference for researchers and advanced students concerned with the impacts of climate change and hydrology on human society, especially in the Near East.
Chapter
A unique interdisciplinary study of the relationships between climate, hydrology and human society from 20,000 years ago to the present day within the Jordan Valley. It describes how state-of-the-art models can simulate the past, present and future climates of the Near East, reviews and provides new evidence for environmental change from geological deposits, builds hydrological models for the River Jordan and associated wadis and explains how present day urban and rural communities manage their water supply. The volume provides a new approach and new methods that can be applied for exploring the relationships between climate, hydrology and human society in arid and semi-arid regions throughout the world. It is an invaluable reference for researchers and advanced students concerned with the impacts of climate change and hydrology on human society, especially in the Near East.
Chapter
The archaeological record is a combination of what is seen by eye, as well as the microscopic record revealed with the help of instrumentation. The information embedded in the microscopic record can significantly add to our understanding of past human behaviour, provided this information has not been altered by the passage of time. Microarchaeology seeks to understand the microscopic record in terms of the type of information embedded in this record, the materials in which this information resides, and the conditions under which a reliable signal can be extracted. This book highlights the concepts needed to extract information from the microscopic record. Intended for all archaeologists and archaeological scientists, it will be of particular interest to students who have some background in the natural sciences as well as archaeology.
Chapter
A unique interdisciplinary study of the relationships between climate, hydrology and human society from 20,000 years ago to the present day within the Jordan Valley. It describes how state-of-the-art models can simulate the past, present and future climates of the Near East, reviews and provides new evidence for environmental change from geological deposits, builds hydrological models for the River Jordan and associated wadis and explains how present day urban and rural communities manage their water supply. The volume provides a new approach and new methods that can be applied for exploring the relationships between climate, hydrology and human society in arid and semi-arid regions throughout the world. It is an invaluable reference for researchers and advanced students concerned with the impacts of climate change and hydrology on human society, especially in the Near East.
Chapter
A unique interdisciplinary study of the relationships between climate, hydrology and human society from 20,000 years ago to the present day within the Jordan Valley. It describes how state-of-the-art models can simulate the past, present and future climates of the Near East, reviews and provides new evidence for environmental change from geological deposits, builds hydrological models for the River Jordan and associated wadis and explains how present day urban and rural communities manage their water supply. The volume provides a new approach and new methods that can be applied for exploring the relationships between climate, hydrology and human society in arid and semi-arid regions throughout the world. It is an invaluable reference for researchers and advanced students concerned with the impacts of climate change and hydrology on human society, especially in the Near East.
Chapter
A unique interdisciplinary study of the relationships between climate, hydrology and human society from 20,000 years ago to the present day within the Jordan Valley. It describes how state-of-the-art models can simulate the past, present and future climates of the Near East, reviews and provides new evidence for environmental change from geological deposits, builds hydrological models for the River Jordan and associated wadis and explains how present day urban and rural communities manage their water supply. The volume provides a new approach and new methods that can be applied for exploring the relationships between climate, hydrology and human society in arid and semi-arid regions throughout the world. It is an invaluable reference for researchers and advanced students concerned with the impacts of climate change and hydrology on human society, especially in the Near East.
Chapter
A unique interdisciplinary study of the relationships between climate, hydrology and human society from 20,000 years ago to the present day within the Jordan Valley. It describes how state-of-the-art models can simulate the past, present and future climates of the Near East, reviews and provides new evidence for environmental change from geological deposits, builds hydrological models for the River Jordan and associated wadis and explains how present day urban and rural communities manage their water supply. The volume provides a new approach and new methods that can be applied for exploring the relationships between climate, hydrology and human society in arid and semi-arid regions throughout the world. It is an invaluable reference for researchers and advanced students concerned with the impacts of climate change and hydrology on human society, especially in the Near East.
Chapter
A unique interdisciplinary study of the relationships between climate, hydrology and human society from 20,000 years ago to the present day within the Jordan Valley. It describes how state-of-the-art models can simulate the past, present and future climates of the Near East, reviews and provides new evidence for environmental change from geological deposits, builds hydrological models for the River Jordan and associated wadis and explains how present day urban and rural communities manage their water supply. The volume provides a new approach and new methods that can be applied for exploring the relationships between climate, hydrology and human society in arid and semi-arid regions throughout the world. It is an invaluable reference for researchers and advanced students concerned with the impacts of climate change and hydrology on human society, especially in the Near East.
Chapter
A unique interdisciplinary study of the relationships between climate, hydrology and human society from 20,000 years ago to the present day within the Jordan Valley. It describes how state-of-the-art models can simulate the past, present and future climates of the Near East, reviews and provides new evidence for environmental change from geological deposits, builds hydrological models for the River Jordan and associated wadis and explains how present day urban and rural communities manage their water supply. The volume provides a new approach and new methods that can be applied for exploring the relationships between climate, hydrology and human society in arid and semi-arid regions throughout the world. It is an invaluable reference for researchers and advanced students concerned with the impacts of climate change and hydrology on human society, especially in the Near East.
Chapter
A unique interdisciplinary study of the relationships between climate, hydrology and human society from 20,000 years ago to the present day within the Jordan Valley. It describes how state-of-the-art models can simulate the past, present and future climates of the Near East, reviews and provides new evidence for environmental change from geological deposits, builds hydrological models for the River Jordan and associated wadis and explains how present day urban and rural communities manage their water supply. The volume provides a new approach and new methods that can be applied for exploring the relationships between climate, hydrology and human society in arid and semi-arid regions throughout the world. It is an invaluable reference for researchers and advanced students concerned with the impacts of climate change and hydrology on human society, especially in the Near East.
Chapter
A unique interdisciplinary study of the relationships between climate, hydrology and human society from 20,000 years ago to the present day within the Jordan Valley. It describes how state-of-the-art models can simulate the past, present and future climates of the Near East, reviews and provides new evidence for environmental change from geological deposits, builds hydrological models for the River Jordan and associated wadis and explains how present day urban and rural communities manage their water supply. The volume provides a new approach and new methods that can be applied for exploring the relationships between climate, hydrology and human society in arid and semi-arid regions throughout the world. It is an invaluable reference for researchers and advanced students concerned with the impacts of climate change and hydrology on human society, especially in the Near East.
Chapter
A unique interdisciplinary study of the relationships between climate, hydrology and human society from 20,000 years ago to the present day within the Jordan Valley. It describes how state-of-the-art models can simulate the past, present and future climates of the Near East, reviews and provides new evidence for environmental change from geological deposits, builds hydrological models for the River Jordan and associated wadis and explains how present day urban and rural communities manage their water supply. The volume provides a new approach and new methods that can be applied for exploring the relationships between climate, hydrology and human society in arid and semi-arid regions throughout the world. It is an invaluable reference for researchers and advanced students concerned with the impacts of climate change and hydrology on human society, especially in the Near East.
Chapter
A unique interdisciplinary study of the relationships between climate, hydrology and human society from 20,000 years ago to the present day within the Jordan Valley. It describes how state-of-the-art models can simulate the past, present and future climates of the Near East, reviews and provides new evidence for environmental change from geological deposits, builds hydrological models for the River Jordan and associated wadis and explains how present day urban and rural communities manage their water supply. The volume provides a new approach and new methods that can be applied for exploring the relationships between climate, hydrology and human society in arid and semi-arid regions throughout the world. It is an invaluable reference for researchers and advanced students concerned with the impacts of climate change and hydrology on human society, especially in the Near East.
Chapter
A unique interdisciplinary study of the relationships between climate, hydrology and human society from 20,000 years ago to the present day within the Jordan Valley. It describes how state-of-the-art models can simulate the past, present and future climates of the Near East, reviews and provides new evidence for environmental change from geological deposits, builds hydrological models for the River Jordan and associated wadis and explains how present day urban and rural communities manage their water supply. The volume provides a new approach and new methods that can be applied for exploring the relationships between climate, hydrology and human society in arid and semi-arid regions throughout the world. It is an invaluable reference for researchers and advanced students concerned with the impacts of climate change and hydrology on human society, especially in the Near East.
Chapter
A unique interdisciplinary study of the relationships between climate, hydrology and human society from 20,000 years ago to the present day within the Jordan Valley. It describes how state-of-the-art models can simulate the past, present and future climates of the Near East, reviews and provides new evidence for environmental change from geological deposits, builds hydrological models for the River Jordan and associated wadis and explains how present day urban and rural communities manage their water supply. The volume provides a new approach and new methods that can be applied for exploring the relationships between climate, hydrology and human society in arid and semi-arid regions throughout the world. It is an invaluable reference for researchers and advanced students concerned with the impacts of climate change and hydrology on human society, especially in the Near East.
Chapter
A unique interdisciplinary study of the relationships between climate, hydrology and human society from 20,000 years ago to the present day within the Jordan Valley. It describes how state-of-the-art models can simulate the past, present and future climates of the Near East, reviews and provides new evidence for environmental change from geological deposits, builds hydrological models for the River Jordan and associated wadis and explains how present day urban and rural communities manage their water supply. The volume provides a new approach and new methods that can be applied for exploring the relationships between climate, hydrology and human society in arid and semi-arid regions throughout the world. It is an invaluable reference for researchers and advanced students concerned with the impacts of climate change and hydrology on human society, especially in the Near East.
Chapter
A unique interdisciplinary study of the relationships between climate, hydrology and human society from 20,000 years ago to the present day within the Jordan Valley. It describes how state-of-the-art models can simulate the past, present and future climates of the Near East, reviews and provides new evidence for environmental change from geological deposits, builds hydrological models for the River Jordan and associated wadis and explains how present day urban and rural communities manage their water supply. The volume provides a new approach and new methods that can be applied for exploring the relationships between climate, hydrology and human society in arid and semi-arid regions throughout the world. It is an invaluable reference for researchers and advanced students concerned with the impacts of climate change and hydrology on human society, especially in the Near East.
Chapter
A unique interdisciplinary study of the relationships between climate, hydrology and human society from 20,000 years ago to the present day within the Jordan Valley. It describes how state-of-the-art models can simulate the past, present and future climates of the Near East, reviews and provides new evidence for environmental change from geological deposits, builds hydrological models for the River Jordan and associated wadis and explains how present day urban and rural communities manage their water supply. The volume provides a new approach and new methods that can be applied for exploring the relationships between climate, hydrology and human society in arid and semi-arid regions throughout the world. It is an invaluable reference for researchers and advanced students concerned with the impacts of climate change and hydrology on human society, especially in the Near East.
Article
Full-text available
The scientific study of Neolithic monuments holds fundamental keys to the analysis of early social complexity. This is often impeded by the challenges involved in understanding their temporality and, particularly, their initial construction dates. This problem is most severe in monuments that were not predominantly used for burial and went on to have long biographies in which activity in later periods obliterated the material record of the earliest phases. That was certainly the case of the Menga dolmen, part of the Antequera World Heritage site (Málaga, Spain), and one of the most remarkable megaliths in Europe, for which, after nearly 200 years of explorations and research, no firm chronology existed. The research presented in this paper shows how this problem was tackled through a multimethod, scientific, and geoarchaeological approach. The analysis of 29 fresh numerical ages, including radiocarbon determinations as well as optically stimulated luminescence, thermoluminescence, and uranium-thorium dates, led to the successful establishment of Menga's construction date and the subsequent contextualization of the monument within the social and cultural background it arose in. Placing the dolmen in the context of its time of “birth” introduces entirely new possibilities for its interpretation, both in terms of local and supralocal social and cultural processes.
Article
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The radiocarbon ages of dendrochronologically dated wood spanning the AD 1950–6000 BC interval are now available for Seattle (10-yr samples, Stuiver & Becker 1993) and Belfast (20-yr samples, Pearson, Becker & Qua 1993; Pearson & Qua 1993). The results of both laboratories were previously combined to generate a bidecadal calibration curve spanning nearly 4500 years (Stuiver & Pearson 1986; Pearson & Stuiver 1986). We now find that minor corrections must be applied to the published data sets, and therefore, give new bidecadal radiocarbon age information for 2500–6000 BC, as well as corrected radiocarbon age averages for AD 1950–500 BC. Corrected average 14 C ages for the 500–2500 BC interval are given separately (Pearson & Stuiver 1993). The Seattle corrections (in the 10–30 14 C-yr range) are discussed in Stuiver and Becker (1993), whereas Pearson and Qua (1993) provide information on Belfast corrections (averaging 16 yr). All dates reported here are conventional radiocarbon dates, as defined in Stuiver and Polach (1977). Belfast 14 C ages back to 5210 BC were obtained on wood from the Irish oak chronology (Pearson et al. 1986). Wood from the German oak chronology (Becker 1993) was used by Belfast for the 5000–6000 BC interval. For the overlapping interval (5000–5210 BC), Belfast reports weighted Irish wood/German wood 14 C age averages. The Seattle 14 C ages for the AD interval were either on Douglas fir wood from the US Pacific Northwest, or Sequoia wood from California (Stuiver 1982). The BC materials measured in Seattle were mostly part of the German oak chronology. Thirteen samples (5680–5810 BC) from the US bristlecone pine chronology (Ferguson & Graybill 1983) were measured in Seattle as well. Here, the final Seattle decadal 14 C ages resulted from averaging German oak and bristlecone pine ages.
Article
Full-text available
The detailed radiocarbon age vs calibrated (cal) age studies of tree rings reported in this Calibration Issue provide a unique data set for precise 14C age calibration of materials formed in isotopic equilibrium with atmospheric CO2. The situation is more complex for organisms formed in other reservoirs such as lakes and oceans. Here the initial specific 14C activity may differ from that of the contemporaneous atmosphere. The measured remaining 14C activity of samples formed in such reservoirs not only reflects 14C decay but also the reservoir 14C activity. Model calibrations are made for the global marine response for surface (0-75m) thermocline (75-1000m) and deep (1000-3800m) waters. Model calculations yield information of atmospheric Δ14C values, production rates, Q, and alternative changes in oceanic mixing rates Kz, and demonstrate the validity of the production modulation approach to calibration. -from Authors
Article
Full-text available
Radiocarbon ages of dendrochronologically-dated wood spanning the last 4500 years were determined at both the Seattle and Belfast laboratories. The combined results are reported in this issue of radiocarbon in two papers, with this paper covering the AD 1950—500 BC interval, and the twin (Pearson & Stuiver, 1986) covering the 500 BC–2500 BC interval.
Article
The calibration curves and tables given in this issue of RADIOCARBON form a data base ideally suited for a computerized operation. The program listed below converts a radiocarbon age and its age error o s (one standard deviation) into calibrated ages (intercepts with the calibration curve), and ranges of calibrated ages that correspond to the age error. The standard deviation o C in the calibration curve is taken into account using (see Stuiver and Pearson, this issue, for details).
Article
The revised radiocarbon calibration curve, published last year, extends back into the Pleistocene the radiocarbon determinations that can be converted to real calendar years. For determinations of any age, the right judgements and statistical considerations must be followed if the real information held in the determinations is to be found. Here is advice with some worked examples.
Article
The Age Calibration Program, CALIB, published in 1986 and amended in 1987 is here amended anew. The program is available on a floppy disk in this publication. The new calibration data set covers nearly 22 000 Cal yr (approx 18 400 14C yr) and represents a 6 yr timescale calibration effort by several laboratories. The data are described and the program outlined. -K.Clayton
Article
Variations in atmospheric 14 C content complicate the conversion of conventional 14 C ages BP ( i.e., years before AD 1950) into real calendar ages (AD/BC) (de Vries 1958; Willis, Tauber & Münnich 1960). These variations are indirectly observed in tree rings from European and North American wood. In recent decades, measurements made on dendrochronologically dated wood have resulted in the generally accepted Stuiver and Pearson calibration curves. These curves, together with other calibration data, were published in the first Radiocarbon Calibration Issue (Stuiver & Kra 1986), and are extended in the present Calibration Issue (Stuiver, Long & Kra 1993).
Article
A recent and significant improvement in radiocarbon dating has been the increased ability of the radiocarbon laboratories to provide results combining precision with accuracy. This improvement has been accompanied by increasing recognition that the information must be expressed on the calendar, rather than on the radiocarbon, time-scale. Despite the attempts of Ottaway (1987) and Pearson (1987), archaeologists are not sufficiently aware of the statistical problems involved in the transformation from one scale to the other: ‘Some of the trouble lies in the ignorance of radiocarbon consumers; the many attempts to educate them can have only limited success when radiocarbon study depends on statistical concepts and methods far beyond the average archaeologist’s innumerate grasp’ (Chippindale 1990: 203).
Article
With the advent of the high precision radiocarbon calibration curve there is an increasing demand from archaeologists for results, previously reported on the radiocarbon scale, to be expressed on the calendar scale. Furthermore, there is a general realization within the archaeological community that much more information can be derived from radiocarbon dating if the samples are taken from coherent, well-chosen contexts and if any available substantive archaeological information is included in the data analysis. This paper describes how the Bayesian approach to statistical data analysis can be used for the calibration of groups of radiocarbon results in situations where archaeological information is available a priori about the relationships between the contexts being dated. Recent innovations in the implementation of the Bayesian paradigm are used and the methodology is illustrated by the analysis of data arising from two archaeological excavations.
  • M Stuiver
  • R S Kra
Stuiver, M. and Kra, R.S., eds. 1986 Calibration Issue, Proceedings of the 12th International 14C Conference. Radiocarbon 28(2B): 805-1030.
  • S Shennan
Shennan, S. 1988 Quantifying Archaeology. Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press: 364 p.
  • C E Buck
  • J A Christen
  • C D Litton
Buck, C. E., Christen, J. A., and Litton, C. D. 1996 Archaeology, modeling and radiocarbon. Radiocarbon, in press.
Archaeological interpretation of a suite of radiocarbon determinations: A Bayesian case study
  • J A Christen
  • J B Kenworthy
  • B S Ottaway
  • C E Buck
  • C D Litton
Christen, J. A., Kenworthy, J. B., Ottaway, B. S., Buck, C. E. and Litton, C. D. 1996 Archaeological interpretation of a suite of radiocarbon determinations: A Bayesian case study. Radiocarbon, in press.
  • E C Harris
Harris, E. C. 1989 Principles of Archaeological Stratigraphy, 2nd edition. London, Academic Press: 170 p.
Archaeology, modeling and radiocarbon
  • C E Buck
  • J A Christen
  • C D Litton
Buck, C. E., Christen, J. A., and Litton, C. D. 1996 Archaeology, modeling and radiocarbon. Radiocarbon, in press.