Radiocarbon dating of blackened grains from the site

Radiocarbon dating related question.? | Yahoo Answers

radiocarbon dating of blackened grains from the site

Answer to The Bible describes the Exodus as a period of 40 years that began with plagues in Egypt and ended with the destruction o. Some 30 years after her excavation of the site – indeed, 12 years after Kenyon's Jericho is doubly unique: With its Neolithic settlement dating to B.C.E., Jericho .. third, scarab evidence; and fourth, a radiocarbon date. .. Walls and floors were blackened or reddened by fire, and every room was. This article expands the date list from the Stone Age cave site of El Mirón in the GX was done on a single grain of Triticum aestivum/durum wheat .. the vestibule front and middle versus the rear are hinted at by the blackened col-.

She based her dating on the fact that she failed to find expensive, imported pottery in a small excavation area in an impoverished part of a city located far from major trade routes! Rather than unusual imported wares, attention should be given to the ordinary domestic pottery that Kenyon and Garstang both found in abundance.

As for Egyptian punitive campaigns into Canaan, there is no textual evidence in Egyptian literary sources to indicate that the Egyptians went beyond Sharuhen in southwest Canaan in their pursuit of the Hyksos. The Egyptian interest at this time was in the trade routes on the Mediterranean coast and the Kishon-Jezreel Valley and in points further north, not in the Jordan Valley.

In the burnt debris of City IV both Garstang and Kenyon found many store jars full of grain, indicating that when the city met its end there was an ample food supply.

Egyptian campaigns were customarily mounted just prior to harvest time — food supplies stored inside the cities would be at their lowest level then; the Egyptians themselves could use the produce in the fields to feed their army; and what the Egyptians did not want for their own use they could destroy, thereby placing a further hardship on the indigenous population.

This was clearly not the case at Jericho. Finally, the Egyptian strategy for capturing a strongly fortified city such as Jericho was by siege. Sharuhen was besieged by the Egyptians for three years;29 the siege of Megiddo lasted seven months.

Radiocarbon dating related question.?

Four lines of evidence converge to support this conclusion: First and foremost is the ceramic data; second, stratigraphical considerations; third, scarab evidence; and fourth, a radiocarbon date.

Cypriot bichrome ware — pottery decorated in two colors. Now known as a key indicator of Late Bronze Age occupation, this pottery, excavated by Garstang at Jericho, is just what Kenyon later looked for, unsuccessfully. These sherds were found on the east side of the tell, apparently having slid there when a large structure upslope eroded.

As fate would have it, Kenyon, who well knew the link of such ware to the Late Bronze Age, conducted her dig too far north of the eroded runoff to find any bichrome ware. Although I will spare the reader a technical discussion of the Jericho pottery, we will look at a few examples from the final phases of City IV — all excavated by Kenyon. In particular, a cooking pot with an internal lip is found only in the Late Bronze I period. Many more examples of this type of pottery can be found in the excavation reports of both Kenyon and Garstang.

Cypriot bichrome ware is one of the major diagnostic indicators for occupation in the Late Bronze I period. It showed up in erosional layers on the east side of the tell. Evidently it originated in a large structure upslope, which Garstang referred to as the palace.

Only a portion of the eastern wall of this building remained at the time of his excavation. L ate Bronze Age pottery types from Jericho excavated by Kenyon. A simple, round-sided bowl with concentric circles painted on the inside No.

The flaring carinated angled bowl with a slight crimp No. Inexplicably, Kenyon ignored these examples of common, locally made domestic pottery at Jericho and instead based her Middle Bronze Age date for City IV on the absence of expensive imported Cypriote ware known to date to the beginning of the Late Bronze Age. She reasoned that the absence of these Late Bronze forms indicated the city must have been destroyed at the end of the Middle Bronze Age. However, such Late Bronze Age imports are typically found in tombs in large cities on major trade routes.

She should have paid greater attention to the locally made household pottery she did find, especially because she was dependent on a very limited excavation area in a poor section of the city — the last place to look for exotic imported materials. Now let us look at the stratigraphy of City IV, which is related, in a very elementary way, to time.

With her careful excavation techniques, Kenyon was able to identify many different occupational phases during the Bronze Age at Jericho. A fortification tower was rebuilt four times and repaired once, followed by habitation units that were rebuilt seven times.

It is hardly likely that all of this activity could have transpired in the approximately years of the Middle Bronze III period.

Scarabs are small Egyptian amulets shaped like a beetle with an inscription sometimes the name of a pharaoh on the bottom. In his excavation of the cemetery northwest of the city, Garstang recovered a continuous series of Egyptian scarabs extending from the 18th century B.

The continuous nature of the scarab series suggests that the cemetery was in active use up to the end of the Late Bronze I period. A scarab is a small, beetle-shaped Egyptian amulet, inscribed on its underside, often with the name of a pharaoh. Shown clockwise from upper left are scarabs bearing the names of Tuthmosis III c. The cemetery outside Jericho has yielded a continuous series of Egyptian scarabs from the 18th through the earlyth centuries B.

radiocarbon dating of blackened grains from the site

Finally, one Carbon sample was taken from a piece of charcoal found in the destruction debris of the final Bronze Age city. It was dated to B. See comments section below for an update on this C data]. All this evidence converges to demonstrate that City IV was destroyed in about B. If the Hyksos did not destroy Jericho and the Egyptians did not destroy Jericho, then who did? The only written record to survive concerning the history of Jericho in the Late Bronze Age is that found in the Hebrew Bible.

When we compare the archaeological evidence at Jericho with the Biblical narrative describing the Israelite destruction of Jericho, we find a quite remarkable agreement. First, a few words about the Israelite crossing of the Jordan River.

The Bible describes the crossing of the Jordan River in vivid and very explicit language: The waters coming down from above stood and rose up in a heap far off, at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan, and those flowing down toward the sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, were wholly cut off; and the people passed over opposite Jericho" Joshua 3: The Jordan was apparently blocked at Adam, modern Damiya, some 18 miles upstream from the fords opposite Jericho.

How could this happen? Historians and Bible scholars have focused on the "miraculous" nature of the event, with little regard for the seismology of the southern Jordan Valley. In fact, the blocking of the Jordan has happened a number of times in recent recorded history. Jericho is located in the Rift Valley, an unstable region where earthquakes are frequent.

Geophysicist Amos Nur of Stanford University has studied the well-documented earthquakes of this area in an effort to find ways to predict them. He has noted several earthquakes that caused phenomena quite similar to what is described in the Book of Joshua: Today Adam is Damiya, the site of the mud slides that cut off the flow of the Jordan.

Such cutoffs, typically lasting one to two days, have also been recorded in A. He writes that a large mound on the west side of the Jordan at Damiya fell into the river damming it up. No water flowed south from Damiya for 16 hours.

In the quake, a section of a cliff feet high collapsed into the Jordan near the ford at Damiya, blocking the river for some 21 hours. Jericho is most famous, of course, as the city where the walls came tumbling down. As we have seen, according to Kenyon, there was no city here during the Late Bronze Age and therefore there was no city wall at that time to come tumbling down. This is what Garstang maintained all along. If this view is correct, then there was a strongly fortified city at Jericho at the beginning of the Late Bronze Age.

Kenyon herself determined that City IV had an impressive fortification system. This fortification system consisted first of all of a stone revetment wall some 15 feet high at the base of the mound.

At the northern end of the site, all three archaeological expeditions to Jericho found remnants of a mudbrick parapet wall on top of the revetment wall see section drawing opposite, middle.

At one point, it was preserved to a height of about 8 feet. The revetment wall held in place a massive packed-earth embankment or rampart with a plastered face that extended to the top of the tell. Atop this earthen embankment was yet another city wall, as determined from an earlier phase of the defensive system that survived at only one point on the tell.

radiocarbon dating of blackened grains from the site

Accordingly, the upper wall that surrounded City IV when it was finally destroyed does not survive today. The lower revetment wall and most of the embankment, however, still exist and can be seen at the site.

Despite the fact that the area where the upper wall once stood is gone, there is evidence, incredible as it may seem, that this wall came tumbling down and, in the words of the Biblical account in Joshua, "fell down flat" Joshua 6: In all three cuts, she carried her excavation to the lower revetment wall; in the west cut, however, she went even beyond the revetment wall to the area outside the wall. What Kenyon found outside the revetment wall in the west cut was quite astounding. There, outside the revetment wall, she found bricks from the city wall above that had collapsed.

I will let her describe it in her own words you can follow this more easily while looking at the stratigraphic section: Above the fill associated with the kerb wall [marked "KE" at lower left], during which the final M[iddle] B[ronze] bank [or rampart] remained in use, was a series of tip lines against the [outer] face of the revetment [wall].

The first was a heavy fill of fallen red [mud]bricks piling nearly to the top of the revetment [wall]. These [red bricks] probably came from the wall on the summit of the bank [emphasis supplied].

The red mudbricks came tumbling down, falling over the outer revetment wall at the base of the tell. There the red mudbricks came to rest in a heap. Here is impressive evidence that the walls of Jericho did indeed topple, as the Bible records.

A slice of Jericho. A section drawing prepared by Kathleen Kenyon, describes what she found in a trench cut through the western defenses of the city.

It pictures the excavated materials as if a vertical slice had been cut — as in fact it was by her trench — through the revetment wall at the base of the tell and through the high earthen embankment that rose to the top of the tell. The foot-high stone revetment wall at the base of the tell black was buried under later remains. In the Kenyon section, a plaster-covered earthen rampart sloped upwards to the right in this view to the top of the tell behind the revetment wall.

The wall that surrounded the city once stood atop this earthen embankment off the right side of the drawing.

Radiocarbon Dating

Although Kenyon found the revetment wall and the earthen rampart, she did not find the city wall itself on top of the tell. But, astoundingly, a heap of fallen red bricks colored bright red lay outside the revetment wall.

These red bricks almost certainly came from the city wall on top of the tell or from a mudbrick parapet wall atop the revetment wall, or both, as Kenyon recognized. The outer face of this wall is shown in the photo below. All three excavations at Jericho found evidence — at different points around the tell — of a mudbrick parapet wall atop the stone revetment wall. When the wall was deposited in this fashion at the base of the tell, the collapsed mudbricks themselves formed a ready ramp for an attacker to surmount the revetment wall.

Note that the Bible states that they went up into the city. The collapse of the city wall may well have been the result of an earthquake, since there is ample evidence for earthquake activity at the end of the life of City IV. We know her house had a roof exposed to the elements because she hid the spies under some flax that was drying there Joshua 2: It was also built against the city wall, thus facilitating the escape of the spies: Sellin and Watzinger found a number of domestic structures from the final phase of City IV on the north side of the tell.

It is possible that Rahab lived in just such a house. If so, it would have been within the city wall, i. It could also have abutted the revetment wall, with a window through the parapet wall overlooking the stone revetment below.

The houses built on the rampart appear to have comprised the poor quarter of the city because they were constructed of thin walls only one brick in width.

Remnants of the final phase of City IV were also found on the southeast slope, just above the spring, by both Garstang and Kenyon. What Garstang and Kenyon found here is most revealing.

The results reveal that City IV was massively destroyed in a violent conflagration51 that left a layer of destruction debris a yard or more thick across the entire excavation area. The destruction was complete. Walls and floors were blackened or reddened by fire, and every room was filled with fallen bricks, timbers, and household utensils; in most rooms the fallen debris was heavily burnt, but the collapse of the walls of the eastern rooms seems to have taken place before they were affected by the fire.

This description may be compared with the Biblical account. According to the Bible, after the Israelites gained access to the city, they "burned the city with fire and all that was therein" Joshua 6: In short, after the collapse of the walls — perhaps by earthquake — the city was put to the torch.

The most abundant item found in the destruction, apart from pottery, was grain. As noted above, both Garstang and Kenyon found large quantities of grain stored in the ground-floor rooms of the houses.

Perhaps a jar or two might be found, but to find such an extensive amount of grain is exceptional. What conclusions can we draw from this unusual circumstance? Grain was a very valuable commodity in antiquity. The amount stored after harvest provided food until the next harvest. Grain was so valuable, in fact, that it was used as a medium of exchange. The presence of these grain stores in the destroyed city is entirely consistent with the Biblical account. The city did not fall as a result of a starvation siege, as was so common in ancient times.

Instead, the Bible tells us, Jericho was destroyed after but seven days Joshua 6: Successful attackers normally plundered valuable grain once they captured a city. This of course would be inconsistent with the grain found here. But in the case of Jericho the Israelites were told that "the city and all that is within it shall be devoted to the Lord for destruction," and they were commanded, "Keep yourselves from the things devoted to destruction" Joshua 6: So the Israelites were forbidden to take any plunder from Jericho.

Another inference can be drawn from the grain: The city fell shortly after harvest, in the spring of the year. This is precisely when the Bible says the Israelites attacked Jericho: Rahab was drying freshly harvested flax on the roof of her house Joshua 2: An artist, draws in situ grain storage jars excavated at Jericho, one of which is seen in close-up below.

Instead, the attack must have occurred suddenly, soon after the spring harvest — two crucial details that match the account in the Book of Joshua. It was she who brought order to the confused stratigraphic picture at Jericho. Her thoroughgoing excavation methods and detailed reporting of her findings, however, did not carry over into her analytical work.

When the evidence is critically examined there is no basis for her contention that City IV was destroyed by the Hyksos or Egyptians in the midth century B. The pottery, stratigraphic considerations, scarab data and a Carbon date all point to a destruction of the city around the end of Late Bronze I, about B.

Was this destruction at the hands of the Israelites?

Did the Israelites Conquer Jericho? A New Look at the Archaeological Evidence

The correlation between the archaeological evidence and the Biblical narrative is substantial: One major problem remains: Most scholars will reject the possibility that the Israelites destroyed Jericho in about B. A minority of scholars agrees with the Biblical chronology, which places the Israelite entry into Canaan in about B. The dispute between these two views is already well-known to BAR readers.

As new data emerge and as old data are reevaluated, it will undoubtedly require a reappraisal of current theories regarding the date and the nature of the emergence of Israel in Canaan.

Wood discuss the evidence in this cutting edge video, Jericho Unearthed. Jericho Unearthed can be purchased in the ABR bookstore. Wood present his research on Jericho in this video from From Biblical Archaeology Review, Vol. Before the Common Era and C.

radiocarbon dating of blackened grains from the site

Common Era are the religiously neutral terms used by scholars, corresponding to B. Not to scale unless indicated after Kiguradze and Sagona [link] Fig. Not to scale unless indicated photographs by A. What is at stake in the question? At the moment, it turns out that quite little is at stake because we do not have a clear understanding of what the Kura-Araxes actually is. Different modes of fi eld techniques and sampling methodologies used by early excavators have meant that the analysis and interpretation of depositional layers at many sites are often diffi cult or impossible to determine.

Consequently, the cultural environment that shaped the lives of past humans and societies, whom we study, fundamental to any conceptualisation of behaviour, has been necessarily elusive. Even so, Soviet archaeology often placed an emphasis on cultural materialism and the supposition that communities could be seen as functioning wholes, producing assemblages that may refl ect their distinctive social identities.

The result was confusion. Fleeting glimpses of settlements compounded by an almost free-fl oating chronology made it diffi cult to structure the data and assess change through time. Presently, we are witnessing a sea change in the archaeology of the Caucasus, now an arena of intense international dialogue and collaboration. A surge of new research and the re-evaluation of early excavation results have gradually shifted us away from a unitary, if not unifi ed, conception of the origin of the Kura-Araxes complex to a view that situates it within a rich and dynamic cultural interplay involving the lands from the greater Caucasus to the Syro-Mesopotamian foothills and beyond.

Consequently, we have had several appeals to view the Kura-Araxes complex as part of a series of processes that was played out in the social, economic and religious spheres. The period before us, the 4th millennium BC, is now emerging from the dimness of obscurity as a critical interlude in the Southern Caucasus.

Most importantly, it has become increasingly obvious that during this stretch of time the development of the greater Caucasus cannot be understood in isolation. We owe much of the current re-assessment to nuanced sequences, a growing body of scientifi c data and the ever-increasing quantity of reliable radiocarbon evidence. They provide a picture of different cultural groups, scattered across an environmentally varied isthmus, intent on maintaining their distinct identities, yet also involved in local and long-range interaction.

More radiocarbon dates are needed yet to establish a really sound chronology for the period. Collectively these new data require me to revise, in some instances completely, views expressed in a paper I wrote with Tamaz Kiguradze Kiguradze and Sagona Remaining problems and conflicting claims The nature of radiocarbon dates 3 4. Despite the secure footings that recent radiocarbon analyses have provided, the compartmentalisation of the 4th millennium into periods and the terminology use to express changing cultural traditions are not without diffi culties.

Whereas other periods of the Caucasus face similar challenges, those of the Kura-Araxes are seemingly more acute, partly owing to the expansive geographical spread of the Kura-Araxes oikumene, which brought it into direct contact with the far better dated traditions of the ancient Near East, with whose sequences it needs to be reconciled. These problems can be summarised as follows: The questioning that currently surrounds the trustworthiness of early analyses, carried out in both Western and Soviet laboratories, is worth fl agging as a cautionary note.

Another latent error some laboratories ignored and continue to ignore were the backgrounds standards, mostly affecting dates less than 10, years. The use of graphite for AMS or coal for AMS or radiometric for organic carbon background standards is considered inadequate by some researchers.

One other consideration is that older radiometric dates required much larger samples, which may not have been pure charcoal; that is, organic carbon of 5. Little attention, too, was paid to the taphonomy of samples. How the samples came to be deposited and the nature of their context did not concern most early researchers. There was also a tendency for spot dates — one sample to represent a long period or deep deposit, rather than a cluster of dates. These single dates, precious though they are, cannot be used to defi ne the parameters of a deposit, making inter-regional comparisons all the more diffi cult.

Methods are now more precise and we can now count longer, but within the stated errors early radiometric dates can still be used with caution. Spurred on by these developments Giorgi Kavtaradze collated the available radiocarbon readings and corrected them using the R. Clark curve Clarkthe earliest attempt at re-calibration.

This uncritical comparison of dates using different calibration curves can be misleading. Here we conform to the international standard known as the Trondheim Convention for citing radiocarbon dates and supporting information, whereby the uncalibrated BP readings are provided, as well as the cal. BC dates Stuiver and Polach The calibrated date ranges have been calculated using a probabilities method at a resolution of one year and OxCal v4.

Inconsistencies in ceramic typologies Ceramics continue to form the clearest indicator of cultural change in the Kura-Araxes complex.

In ideal circumstances, a ceramic typology should divide a coeval series of vessels into categories of types and sub-types based upon the consideration Conflicting and ambiguous terminologies and periodisations 4 6.

None of the current typologies of Kura-Araxes ceramics cover all these criteria equally. Another diffi culty is one of scale. There is less accord, however, on terminology and how the horizon should be sliced up. The inter-changeability of terms can be an irritant. Kura-Araxes and synonymous descriptors like Early Transcaucasian, which represent a tradition of material culture with its own developmental phases, are often used as a default term for the Early Bronze Age, a techno-chronological period.

The problem is compounded because there is no consensus on whether the entire Kura-Araxes tradition falls within one period. Should its formative phase, for instance, be assigned to the Late Chalcolithic period or the Early Bronze Age? So, then, what is the fundamental narrative behind the communities of the earliest Kura-Araxes? Philip Kohlfollowing Evgeni Chernykhhas suggested that it is the production of bronze metalwork and has forcefully argued that the earliest Kura-Araxes must defi ne the beginning of the Early Bronze Age.

But this view is not without its problems. Isolating metalworking as the driving factor of the Kura-Araxes complex is questionable, all the more so given the debate that surrounds the status of its metallurgy and 7.

Is metalworking really at the hub of Kura-Araxes activities, or has it been overstated? Kura-Araxes communities cannot, to be sure, take credit for novel metalworking technologies. Rather they adopted practices, which were established at the end of the Neolithic, and improved during the second half of the 5th millennium BC, as the Mentesh Tepe fi nds illustrate Lyonnet et al.

ORAU - Radicoarbon dating

Moreover, the question of whether arsenic, the fi ngerprint of early Caucasian metalwork, was added intentionally is still being argued. If we turn to the measures of quantity or age, we fi nd that the Kura-Araxes metalwork is not a stand out in the world of the Caucasus.

The Maikop tradition was far more productive and precocious, and in its second phase the Novosvobodnaiia stage stylistic traits show that it infl uenced Kura-Araxes metal-smiths.

A recent and comprehensive survey of metalwork in Georgia has put this matter into a sharper perspective Gambashidze et al. For a start, hardly any metal objects can be dated to the earliest Kura-Araxes phase, and later on production and quantity of metalwork increase only in the second half of the 3rd millennium BC. This holds true even for Kvatskhelebi, which was completely excavated. The situation is not different in Northwestern Iran.

Summers and this volume has reiterated that Yanik Tepe and its neighbouring sites have no metal workshops or fi nds. There, the Kura-Araxes deposits are overwhelmingly lithic obsidian supplemented by worked bone tools.

Basically, the core area of the Kura-Araxes cannot be seen as an advanced metallurgical centre in the period BC. Giulio Palumbi seeks a more holistic view to terminology. Whereas he admits that the Kura-Araxes metal technology remained essentially unchanged, he maintains that the social and cultural dynamics associated with the horizon were so transformative that they warrant the attribution Early Bronze Age.

Thirty years ago, I, too, coupled the inception of the Kura-Araxes tradition with the beginning of the Early Bronze Age in the Southern Caucasus and placed them around the mid-3rd millennium BC Sagonabut the excavations at Sos 5 8. The Erzurum region, it seems, is the westernmost extension of the Kura-Araxes homeland. Looking at it from an Anatolian perspective, Erzurum forms a cultural frontier in Northeastern Anatolia in late prehistory.

A few more words are apt on relative systems and the conundrum that faces archaeologists in regions like Anatolia that are not geographically coherent. The early techno-chronological constructs, formulated in Europe to explain the relative sequences of major developmental phases, have lingered on, and have been linked to distinctive traditions of material culture that are assumed to be approximately contemporary. These relative systems were once useful in the absence of absolute dates, but we now have suffi cient chronometric dates to think about dispensing with relative terms, especially if they confuse.

This is clearly demonstrated by a quick glance at some recent syntheses on the material culture of the Caucasus, Anatolia and Iran Lyonnet The chronological interface between the end of the Chalcolithic and the beginning of the Early Bronze Age in these regions and their micro-regions varies considerably from BC to as low as BC.

Clearly differentiated stratigraphies, dated precisely and objectively through radiocarbon analysis, is the way forward. Periodisation is convenient, to be sure, but we must keep in mind that it is simply a heuristic device, which categorises and makes manageable the study of large and complex data. Broadly speaking it has been assigned to the period from ca to BC, though some adhere to the later cut off of BC Lyonnet Culturally it comprises two broad horizons best known by their ceramics: Chaff-Faced Ware and Sioni Ware fi g.

The former was far more extensive, incorporating Northern Syria and Mesopotamia, Southeastern Anatolia, and extending into Northwestern Iran.