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EDITORIAL

  • Chris Scarre (a1)
Abstract

Almost exactly 50 years ago this month, at a conference held in Monaco, nuclear physicist Hans Suess unveiled the first calibration curve for radiocarbon dates. The crucial paper, ‘Bristlecone pine calibration of the radiocarbon time scale from 4100 B.C. to 1500 B.C.', pushed back conventional radiocarbon ages by several centuries and so ushered in the Second Radiocarbon Revolution, soon leading to a new interpretation of European prehistory that severed the long-held connections between Europe and the Near East. Hitherto, diffusionism had held centre stage, with maps full of arrows showing people and artefacts incessantly on the move. With radiocarbon calibration, independent regional development became the order of the day for explaining cultural change. Fifty years on, however, a range of promising new techniques have become available that seem to reinstate some of the earlier narratives.

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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

S. Pääbo 1985. Molecular cloning of ancient Egyptian mummy DNA. Nature 314: 644

M. Krings , A. Stone , R.W. Schmitz , H. Krainitzki , M. Stoneking & S. Pääbo . 1997. Neandertal DNA sequences and the origin of modern humans. Cell 90: 1930

J. Miles , M. Pitts , H. Pagi & G. Earl . 2014. New applications of photogrammetry and reflectance transformation imaging to an Easter Island statue. Antiquity 88: 596605

D.M. Reid 1984. The symbolism of postage stamps: a source for the historian. Journal of Contemporary History 19: 223

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Antiquity
  • ISSN: 0003-598X
  • EISSN: 1745-1744
  • URL: /core/journals/antiquity
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