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Dating the Neolithic of South India: new radiometric evidence for key economic, social and ritual transformations

  • Dorian Q Fuller (a1), Nicole Boivin (a2) and Ravi Korisettar (a3)

The Neolithic period in South India is known for its ashmounds, superseded (in its Iron Age) by megalith builders with craft specialisation. Thanks to a major radiocarbon dating programme and Bayesian analysis of the dates, the authors have placed this sequence in a new chronological framework: the ashmounds, formed by burning cattle dung, are created by a few generations of people. In many cases the mounds are then succeeded by villages, for which they may have acted as founding rituals. The new tightly dated sequence also chronicles the cultivation of particular crops, some indigenous and some introduced from Africa.

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