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Radiocarbon Dating of Pottery from Bronze Age Sites in eastern European steppes (Russia)

  • P Kuznetsov (a1) and О Mochalov (a1)

In recent decades, the radiocarbon method has frequently been used for dating organic admixtures in pottery. This method is useful for dating the Late Stone Age cultures in eastern Europe due to the poor availability of other organic materials. On the contrary, Bronze Age sites offer a great variety of organic sources, including remains of wooden structures, charcoal, and human and animal bones. This paper analyzes the 14C dates obtained on bones and pottery from six Bronze Age sites in order to determine the feasibility of 14C pottery dating for this particular period. Bronze Age pottery is made of silty clay containing organic matter, which can comprise older material. Therefore, 14С dates obtained on bones, wood, or charcoal are more representative. This paper analyzes the 14C dates obtained on bones and pottery from six Bronze Age sites. Based on this limited study, the authors conclude that dating of pottery from the Bronze Age is controversial and can result in much older dates. We argue this method is acceptable only if no other organic materials are available.

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  • ISSN: 0033-8222
  • EISSN: 1945-5755
  • URL: /core/journals/radiocarbon
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