The University of Arizona

14C Chronology of Avellino Pumices Eruption and Timing of Human Reoccupation of the Devastated Region

Isabella Passariello, Claude Albore Livadie, Pierfrancesco Talamo, Carmine Lubritto, Antonio D'Onofrio, Filippo Terrasi

Abstract


The Avellino Pumices eruption was one of the most catastrophic volcanic events of Somma-Vesuvius, which hit prehistoric communities during the Early Bronze Age. In the last 30 yr, several authors reported assessments about its chronology, including radiocarbon datings, but with poor internal agreement and frequently with large experimental errors. A new and more accurate 14C dating of this eruption (1935-1880 BC, 1 σ) was obtained at the CIRCE laboratory in Caserta (Italy) by 3 AMS measurements on a bone sample of a goat buried by the eruption, collected in an Early Bronze Age village at Croce del Papa (Nola, Naples). These results were verified by other measurements on several samples chronologically related to the eruption. Our data show that human resettlement after the eruption occurred rather quickly but lasted only for a short time in areas affected by the volcanic products, like Masseria Rossa and San Paolo Belsito (Nola, Naples), according to 14C dating of archaeological samples collected below and above the eruption deposits. The state-of-the-art chronology of this eruption, emerging from the results obtained in this work as well as from data in the literature, is discussed.

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