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Early bronze Jericho; high-precision (super 14) C dates of short-lived palaeobotanic remains.

Hendrik J Bruins, Johannes van der Plicht


Reliable series of high-precision radiocarbon dates in a stratified archaeological context are of great importance for interdisciplinary chronological and historical studies. The Early Bronze Age in the Near East is characterized by the beginning of the great civilizations in Egypt and Mesopotamia, as well as by urbanization in the Levant. We present stratified high-precision dates of short-lived material of Tell es-Sultan (Jericho), covering Late Proto-Urban/EB I, EB II and EB III layers from Trench III. Our calibrated dates, refined by Bayesian sequence analysis involving Gibbs sampling, are ca. 150-300 yr older than conventional archaeological age assessments. The corpus of (super 14) C dates measured in the first decades after the discovery of (super 14) C dating should not be taken too seriously. The (super 14) C dates of Jericho measured by the British Museum (super 14) C laboratory in 1971 appear to be erroneous.


urbanization;Middle East;archaeology;archaeological sites;isotope ratios;Mediterranean region;Bronze Age;high resolution methods;grains;Jericho;new data;Palestine;Holocene;accelerator mass spectroscopy;mass spectroscopy;spectroscopy;seeds;Asia;Cenozoic;Quaternary;C 14;carbon;dates;isotopes;radioactive isotopes;C 13 C 12;stable isotopes;absolute age

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