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Plant Remains and AMS: Dating Climate Change in the Aeolian Islands (Northeastern Sicily) During the 2nd Millennium BC

V Caracuta, G Fiorentino, M C Martinelli


Archaeological plant remains, used to establish a reliable chronology by radiocarbon dating, are used here to investigate trends in past rainfall intensity.  The stable carbon isotope ratio in botanic remains depends on environmental conditions during the plant’s life. By comparing the δ13C and 14C of selected plant specimens from 3 protohistoric sites in the Aeolian Archipelago, it is possible to identify short-term changes in the rainfall intensity during the 2nd millennium BC. The climate signals inferred from carbon isotope analyses are compared to pollen data for the region and are found to be consistent with changes in vegetal cover. Finally, the climate signals are integrated with the history of the Aeolian communities and the resilience of settlers is evaluated.

DOI: 10.2458/azu_js_rc.v54i3–4.16137

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