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Dating WF16: Exploring the Chronology of a Pre-Pottery Neolithic A Settlement in the Southern Levant

  • Karen Wicks (a1), Bill Finlayson (a2), Darko Maričević (a1), Sam Smith (a3), Emma Jenkins (a4) and Steven Mithen (a1)...
Abstract

A pre-requisite for understanding the transition to the Neolithic in the Levant is the establishment of a robust chronology, most notably for the late Epi-Palaeolithic and Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA) periods. In this contribution we undertake a dating analysis of the Pre-Pottery Neolithic site of WF16, southern Jordan, drawing on a sample of 46 AMS 14C dates. We utilise Bayesian methods to quantify an old wood effect to provide an offset that we factor into chronological models for a number of individual structures at WF16 and for the settlement as a whole. In doing so we address the influence of slope variations in the calibration curve and expose the significance of sediment and sample redeposition within sites of this nature. We conclude that for the excavated deposits at WF16 human activity is likely to have started by c. 11.84 ka cal bp and lasted for at least c. 1590 years, ceasing by c. 10.24 ka cal bp. This is marked by a particularly intensive period of activity lasting for c. 350 years centred on 11.25 ka cal bp followed by less intensive activity lasting a further c. 880 years. The study reveals the potential of WF16 as a laboratory to explore methodological issues concerning 14C dating of early Neolithic sites in arid, erosional environments.

Datation de WF16: Exploration de la chronologie d’une occupation du néolithique pré-céramique A dans le sud du Levant, de Karen Wicks, Bill Finlayson, Darko Maričević, Sam Smith, Emma Jenkins et Steven Mithen.

Une nécessité préalable avant de pouvoir comprendre la transition au néolithique dans le Levant, est l’établissement d’une solide chronologie, plus particulièrement pour les périodes de l’épi-paléolithique tardif et du néolithique pré-céramique A (PPNA). de WF16. Dans cette contribution nous entreprenons une analyse de datations du site du néolithique pré-céramique de WF16 dans le sud de la Jordanie, nous appuyant sur un échantillon de 46 dates au C14 AMS. Nous utilisons les méthodes bayésiennes pour quantifier un effet vieux bois afin de nous fournir une compensation que nous incluons dans des modèles chronologiques pour un certain nombre de structures individuelles à WF16 et pour l’occupation dans son ensemble. En agissant ainsi nous traitons de l’influence des variations de la pente dans la courbe de calibration et exposons la signification des sédiments et de la redéposition d’échantillons dans les sites de cette nature. Nous en concluons que pour les dépôts fouillés à WF16, il est probable que l’activité humaine a commencé vers 11,84 ka cal bp.et a duré pendant au moins environ 1590 ans, cessant vers 10,24 ka cal bp. Celle-ci est marquée par une période d’activité particulièrement intense qui a duré environ 350 ans et s’est concentrée sur 11,25 ka cal bp suivie d’une activité moins intense durant encore environ 880 ans. L’étude révèle le potentiel de WF16 en tant que laboratoire pour l’exploration de questions de méthodologie concernant la datation au C14 des sites du néolithique ancien dans des environnements arides et soumis à l’érosion.

Die Datierung von WF 16: Die Analyse der Chronologie einer PPNA-Siedlung in der südlichen Levante, von Karen Wicks, Bill Finlayson, Darko Maričević, Sam Smith, Emma Jenkins und Steven Mithen

Eine Voraussetzung für das Verständnis des Übergangs zum Neolithikum in der Levante ist die Bildung einer robusten Chronologie, insbesondere für das späte Epipaläolithikum und das Präkeramische Neolithikum A (PPNA). In diesem Beitrag stellen wir die Datierung des präkeramischen neolithischen Fundplatzes WF16 im südlichen Jordanien vor, die auf einem Sample von 46 AMS-14C-Daten basiert. Wir wenden Bayessche Statistik an um Altholzeffekte zu quantifizieren; dadurch kann ein Korrekturfaktor gewonnen werden, der in die chronologischen Modelle sowohl für eine Anzahl individueller Strukturen von WF16 als auch für die Siedlung als Ganzes eingerechnet wird. Hierdurch gelingt es den Einfluss unterschiedlich starker Steigungen/Neigungen der Kalibrationskurve zu berücksichtigen und die Bedeutung der Umlagerung von Sedimenten und Proben in Fundorten dieser Art zu erfassen. Für die ergrabenen Schichten von WF16 ergibt sich, dass menschliche Aktivitäten wahrscheinlich um etwa 11,84 ka cal bp begannen und für mindestens ca. 1590 Jahre andauerten und um ca. 10,24 ka cal bp endeten. Dies wird durch einen besonders intensiven Nutzungszeitraum von ca. 350 Jahren um 11.25 ka cal bp charakterisiert, der von weniger intensiven Aktivitäten gefolgt wird, die weitere ca. 880 Jahre andauerten. Die Untersuchung zeigt das Potential von WF16 als Laboratorium um methodologische Fragen in Bezug auf die Radiokarbondatierung frühneolithischer Orte in ariden, erosionsgefährdeten ausgesetzten Regionen zu erforschen.

Datando WF16: explorando la cronología de un asentamiento Neolítico precerámico A en el Sur de Levante, por Karen Wicks, Bill Finlayson, Darko Maričević, Sam Smith, Emma Jenkins y Steven Mithen.

Un requisito para entender la transición al Neolítico en el Levante es el establecimiento de una cronología robusta, especialmente para el final del Epipaleolítico y para el Neolítico precerámico A (PPNA). En esta contribución se lleva a cabo un análisis cronológico a partir de 46 dataciones radiocarbónicas del sitio del Neolítico precerámico de WF16, en el sur de Jordania. Se utilizan métodos bayesianos para cuantificar el efecto de la madera vieja y aportar una compensación que factorizamos en modelos cronológicos para varias estructuras individuales de WF16 y para el asentamiento en conjunto. De este modo, se ha abordado la influencia de las variaciones de pendiente en la curva de calibración y se pone de manifiesto la importancia de la redeposición de sedimentos y de muestras en sitios de esta naturaleza. Se concluye que para los depósitos excavados en WF16 la actividad humana debió comenzar ca. 11.84 ka cal bp y duró al menos unos 1590 años, cesando hacia 10.24 ka cal bp. Esto caracteriza un período de unos 350 años de actividad particularmente intensa en torno al 11.25 ka cal bp, seguido por un período de 880 años de menor intensidad. El estudio revela el potencial de WF16 como laboratorio para explorar cuestiones metodológicas relacionadas con la datación radiocarbónica de yacimientos del Neolítico antiguo en ambientes áridos y erosivos.

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