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Simple Calibration versus Bayesian Modeling of Archeostatigraphically Controlled 14C Ages in an Early Avar Age Cemetery from SE Hungary: Results, Advantages, Pitfalls

  • Sándor Gulyás (a1), Csilla Balogh (a2), Antónia Marcsik (a3) and Pál Sümegi (a1) (a4)
Abstract

Recent advancements in accelerator mass spectroscopic (AMS) radiocarbon (14C) analytical methods and instrumentation offer us reliable conventional 14C ages with highly reduced analytical uncertainty for archeological bone collagen. However, after calibration this may be still too high for archeologists in periods where archeochronology is capable of attaining a resolution of 25–30 yr. Furthermore, there are cases when wiggles in the calibration curve yield wider age ranges than initially expected. For the Avar Age in the Carpathian Basin (568 to early 9th century AD) reliable archeotypochronology is available for the 7th century AD alone. The date of Avar invasion (568 AD) is precisely known. Precise archeological dating for the late 6th and the 9th centuries is lacking, calling for other methods to be introduced. This paper reports the first 14C dates for an Early Avar Age cemetery, Makó-Mikócsa. According to archeotypochronology, the cemetery was in use for three generations until the mid-7th century AD. The imprecision in 14C chronology arising from wiggles in the IntCal13 curve was significantly reduced by relative stratigraphy-controlled Bayesian modeling. Introduction of further age constraints from archeotypochronology into the model reduces broad absolute age ranges providing more constraint ages.

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Corresponding author
*Corresponding author. Emails: gulyas.sandor@geo.u-szeged.hu, csigonc@gmail.com
References
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