Fluctuating radiocarbon offsets observed in the southern Levant and implications for archaeological chronology debates

Sturt W. Manning, Carol Griggs, Brita Lorentzen, Christopher Bronk Ramsey, David Chivall, A. J.Timothy Jull, Todd E. Lange

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Considerable work has gone into developing high-precision radiocarbon (14C) chronologies for the southern Levant region during the Late Bronze to Iron Age/early Biblical periods (∼1200-600 BC), but there has been little consideration whether the current standard Northern Hemisphere 14C calibration curve (IntCal13) is appropriate for this region. We measured 14C ages of calendar-dated tree rings from AD 1610 to 1940 from southern Jordan to investigate contemporary 14C levels and to compare these with IntCal13. Our data reveal an average offset of ∼19 14C years, but, more interestingly, this offset seems to vary in importance through time. While relatively small, such an offset has substantial relevance to high-resolution 14C chronologies for the southern Levant, both archaeological and paleoenvironmental. For example, reconsidering two published studies, we find differences, on average, of 60% between the 95.4% probability ranges determined from IntCal13 versus those approximately allowing for the observed offset pattern. Such differences affect, and even potentially undermine, several current archaeological and historical positions and controversies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6141-6146
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume115
Issue number24
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 12 2018

Keywords

  • Archaeology
  • Calibration
  • Radiocarbon
  • Radiocarbon offsets
  • Southern Levant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Fluctuating radiocarbon offsets observed in the southern Levant and implications for archaeological chronology debates'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this