Setting the Time Frame – Application of Cosmogenic Nuclide (Radiocarbon, Beryllium) Dating in the Construction of High-Resolution Archaeological Chronologies
Exact chronological data are essential to evaluate the timing, duration and rhythms of population dynamics and human migrations. They also form the basis to decipher dependencies of human development on climatic and environmental changes, by the identification of coincidences, leads or lacks to these potential natural forcing factors. Project F1 has two main components, each with focus on establishing highprecision chronologies based on radiometric dating methods. The first component involves archaeological and sedimentological case studies in the eastern transect of the CRC, employing 14C- and initial 10Be-exposure dating. The second component provides a Central Radiocarbon Service for the entire CRC.
Own fieldwork and excavations will be carried out in Bulgaria, Turkey, and Jordan. These studies focus on the effects of rapid climate change (RCC) on prehistoric societies during the following key time-windows for the Holocene:
- 10.2-10.0 ka cal BP: appearance of sedentary hunting/farming communities in SE-Anatolia,
- 8.6-8.0 ka cal BP: spread of early farming from Central Anatolia to Southeast-Europe,
- 6.4-6.0 ka cal BP: abrupt collapse (or slow decay?) of Copper Age cultures in Southeast-Europe,
- 4.2-4.0 ka cal BP: cultural disruption in Greece and West Anatolia, and
- 3.2-2.9 ka cal BP: end of the Mycenaean culture.
The project is strongly built on high-precision 14C-dating of samples supplied by a large number of archaeologists from carefully selected running excavations in the regions under study, as well as by our own, dedicated fieldwork. Besides, the method of in-situ produced 10Be-dating by AMS will be applied to rubble slides within an archaeological context. The service component for the CRC includes the processing of conventional 14C-dates with existing equipment for Low-Level ß-decay 14C-measurement, the construction and operation of a new 14C-AMS target preparation laboratory, and the 14C-dating of selfproduced targets with the new 6 MV Accelerator Mass Spectrometer (AMS) that has recently been appointed to the University of Cologne. In addition, the F1 project provides support for all CRC projects in all questions related to radiocarbon dating. This includes a Central Radiocarbon Service (administration, documentation, packaging, interlaboratory transfer, database management) of all samples that are to be dated by the 14C-method.