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Bayesian Spatiotemporal Analysis of Radiocarbon Dates from Eastern Fennoscandia

Päivi Onkamo, Juhana Kammonen, Petro Pesonen, Tarja Sundell, Elena Moltchanova, Markku Oinonen, Miikka Haimila, Elja Arjas


Archaeological phenomena, especially those that have been radiocarbon dated, can be utilized as indications of human activity and occupancy in space and time. 14C dates from archaeological contexts have been used as proxies for population history events in several recent studies (e.g. Gamble et al. 2005; Shennan and Edinborough 2007; Oinonen et al. 2010; Tallavaara et al. 2010; Pesonen et al. 2011). As a step towards a larger spatiotemporal modeling effort, we present examples of spatial distributions obtained using Bayesian methodology, analyzing all available archaeological 14C dates from the Stone Age (9000–1500 cal BC) in eastern Fennoscandia. The resulting maps follow the patterns of pioneer settlement in Finland beginning at ~9000 cal BC and provide supporting evidence for the postulated population peak around 4000–3500 cal BC in Finland and the subsequent population decline.

DOI: 10.2458/azu_js_rc.v54i3–4.16136

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