PPND - the Platform for Neolithic Radiocarbon Dates

 

31°59'13'' N    35°58'34'' E   Download OxCal File

The radiocarbon dates of ‘Ain Ghazal[1] allow interesting conclusions concerning its Neolithic occupation and cultural sequence. Although some of the samples do not correlate well with the  phases to which the excavators attributed them, it is still possible to determine different settlement phases.

The oldest phase dates between 8400 BC and 8000 BC. This would be the time frame of the lentil seed (AA 1164) assigned by the excavators to the MPPNB.

Plaster figurine and head of a large plaster figurine from the caches found in 1983 and 1985 of the middle PPNB occupation of 'Ain Ghazal. Photo: left) by John Santes right) by Peter Dorell and Stuart Ladilaw. Department of Antiquities, Jordan©.

A second phase starting slightly after 8000 BC and lasting until 7600 BC is clearly distinguishable from the older one.

The later dates show a short hiatus between 7600 BC and 7500 BC. Around 7510 BC the dates testify to a reoccupation of the site, but GrN 12971 is the only sample dating from this 100-year occupation hiatus.

Interpretation of the more recent dates of the late PPNB is very difficult. From 7500 BC onwards, all the dates significantly overlap until around 6700/6600 BC. One probably too recent date starts around 6600 BC and can be considered aberrant.

According to the radiocarbon dates, it is not possible to separate the latest pre-pottery Neolithic layers (PPNC) from the other late PPNB dates: on the one hand, some of the PPNC-dates overlap significantly with the time frame conventionally attributed to the late PPNB; on the other hand, some samples of the late PPNB layers are too recent and date into the range attributed to the PPNC. Some of these aberrant dates can probably be explained by old-wood effects or strays from more recent layers.

Despite all this, the stratigraphy of the excavators has been adopted (Grindell 1998; unpub. manuscript Rollefson). However, at some point in the future it should be determined whether the two late a-ceramic Neolithic ‘phases’ PPNB and PPNC indicate an actual chronological sequence or whether there were two different social groups occupying the site of ‘Ain Ghazal who differed in material culture and burial rites.

During the most recent excavation, a radiocarbon sample from a sub-spherical pit made of brunt reddish clay (Feature 17) yielded a first Yarmoukian 14C date from the site (AA198395).



[1]We cordially thank Gary Rollefson and Zeidan Kafafi for their constant and patient support and all the data they have provided for us.

14C Dates

 Code  BP Dev. Δ13C Location material References
AA 25424 8030 65 Central, 3876.128, PPNC CH, Wall mortar Rollefson 1998:9
AA 25429 7980 55 North 5717.146, LPPNB Lentils, above mud fill behind "shrine" Rollefson 1998:9
AA-1164 9100 140 3273, MPPNB Erbsen, selbe Probe wie GrN14258 Rollefson et al 1992:445
AA-1167 8570 180 East 8547.014, M/LPPNB CH, Firepit Rollefson et al 1992:445
AA-25037 8775 75 East, F-14.037, MPPNB CH, Chipping floor "Earlier than expected" Rollefson 1998:9
AA-25425 8080 65 East, E-13.032, PPNC CH, "temple" floor. Rollefson 1998:9
AA-25426 8205 65 East, F-12.037 CH, Firepit Rollefson 1998:9
AA-25427 7910 60 East, PPNC, g-28.020. CH, Ash, circular structure Rollefson 1998:9
AA-25428 7910 60 East, PPNC, g-28.016. CH, Ash, circular structure Rollefson 1998:9
AA-5196 7670 100 Central 3275.007,PPNC CH Rollefson et al 1992:445
AA-5197 8090 75 Central 3275.022, LPPNB CH, Firepit Rollefson et al 1992:445
AA-5198 7960 75 Central 3276.009, PPNC CH, Fill Rollefson et al 1992:445
AA-5199 8270 75 Central 3300.047, LPPNB Ashy pit fill Rollefson et al 1992:445
AA-5200 8780 70 Central, MPPNB, 3300.068 Rollefson et al 1992:445
AA-5201 8325 70 4453.130, LPPNB? Rollefson et al 1992:445
AA-5202 8310 70 4453.153, LPPNB? Rollefson et al 1992:445
AA-5203 8200 75 4454.073, PPNC Rollefson et al 1992:445
AA-5205 7895 95 4655030, PPNC Rollefson et al 1992:445
AA-5206 7990 80 5518007, LPPNB Peas, Floor deposit Rollefson et al 1992:445
AA98396 7975 56 -25.0 large ash ("open air dump"?) nearby a major LPPNB chipping floor. LPPNB. CH Kafafi, Z. et al. 2012:36.; G. Rollefson (pers. communication 22/08/13).
AA983965 6873 64 -24.9 Trench III.2, Loc. 018. Clay lined pit; Yarmourkian. Ashy soil Kafafi, Z. et al. 2012:38; G. Rollefson (pers. communication 22/08/13).
Bta-19906 8970 150 3282, MPPNB1 CH Rollefson et al 1992:445
GrN 12966 9200 110 3083, MPPNB1 CH Rollefson et al 1992:445
GrN 12970 8650 200 Central, 3273.028, MPPNB-3 CH, Fill between floors Rollefson et al 1992:445
GrN-12959 9000 90 3076, MPPNB2 CH Burial, post quem for Statues 1983 Rollefson et al 1992:445
GrN-12960 9030 80 3080, MPPNB2 CH, ashy pit fill Rollefson et al 1992:445
GrN-12961 8930 60 3080, MPPNB2 CH; fill between floors Rollefson et al 1992:445
GrN-12962 8680 190 3080, MPPNB2 CH, Ash pit Rollefson et al 1992:445
GrN-12963 8970 80 3081, MPPNB1 CH, Rollefson et al 1992:445
GrN-12964 8970 80 3081, MPPNB2 CH, floor surface Rollefson et al 1992:445
GrN-12965 9050 80 3081, MPPNB1 CH, ashy pit fill, Terminus ante quem 3 plaster masks Rollefson et al 1992:445
GrN-12967 8930 80 3083, MPPNB2 CH, Burial Rollefson et al 1992:445
GrN-12968 8970 110 3083, MPPNB2 CH, firepit, hearth Rollefson et al 1992:445
GrN-12969 8810 80 Central 3273.013, MPPNB4 Rollefson et al 1992:445
GrN-12971 8460 90 4048, LPPNB Rollefson et al 1992:445
GrN-12972 8165 50 4452, LPPNB Rollefson et al 1992:445
GrN-14257 8750 80 3081, MPPNB1 CH, same locus as GrN 12963 Rollefson et al 1992:445
GrN-14258 8610 160 3273, MPPNB3 Erbsen Rollefson et al 1992:445
GrN-17494 7825 65 Central 3275.021,PPNC CH, Firepit Rollefson et al 1992:445
GrN-17495 7915 95 Central 3275.022, PPNC CH, Firepit Rollefson et al 1992:445
KN 4877 8208 77 Central, 3275.029, LPPNB CH, Firepit Rollefson 1998:9
KN 4878 8253 76 Central, 3275.030 CH, Firepit Rollefson 1998:9
KN-4879 7952 77 North 5718.074 LPPNB? CH Rollefson 1998:9
KN-4880 7726 73 North, 5718.080, LPPNB zu jung Lentil Rollefson 1998:9
KN-4881 7880 82 North, 5718.111, LPPNB room fill Lentil Rollefson 1998:9
KN-4882 7809 74 North, 5717.070, LPPNB zu jung Lentil Rollefson 1998:9
KN-4883 8230 76 North, 5918.013 CH, Firepit Rollefson 1998:9
KN-4884 7857 74 North, 5918.046, PPNC Lentil Rollefson 1998:9
KN-4885 7939 87 North, 5918.045 LPPNB CH Rollefson 1998:9
KN-5054 8236 81 North, 5717.149.149 CH, Firepit, associated with apsidial building/"shrine" Rollefson 1998:9
KN-5055 8162 62 North 5718.142 CH, Firepit, associated with apsidial building/"shrine" Rollefson 1998:9
KN-5056 8083 47 East, D-13.023, LPPNB CH, Firepit, beneath "temple" Rollefson 1998:9
OxA-1742 8660 80 3076, MPPNB3 CH Rollefson et al 1992:445
OxA-1743 8700 80 3076, MPPNB3 CH Rollefson et al 1992:445
UCR 1718 8470 650 L 3073.175 CH MDOG 117, 1985:111
UCR 1721 8620 320 L 3073.294 CH MDOG 117, 1985:111
UCR 1722 8070 230 L 3074.157 CH MDOG 117, 1985:111
UCR 1723 11875 670 L 3076.159, der Nähe des Figurencage, aber wenig Material CH MDOG 117, 1985:111
UCR 1724 10850 610 L 3076.294 in der Nähe des Figurencage, aber wenig Material CH MDOG 117, 1985:111
UCR 1725 5130 315 L 3076.048 in der Nähe des Figurencage, aber wenig Material CH MDOG 117, 1985:111

 

 

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Fig. 1 Comparison of the uncalibrated radiocarbon dates of 'Ain Ghazal shows that the data are consistent with two phases of occupation, although it remains difficult to separate the PPNC from the Late PPNB.

     
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