PPND - the Platform for Neolithic Radiocarbon Dates


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The PPNB site of Dja’de on the middle Euphrates is one of the rare sites where the transition from the latest phase of the PPNA to the early PPNB is well documented. Moreover, it shows a continuous development until the transition to the middle PPNB.

The excavators conclude that the “sequence of Dja’de clearly demonstrates that the dichotomy of the PPNA-PPNB corresponds in no way to the cultural development at the site, which shows a continuous evolution […]”. In consequence, they consider the separation between the PPNA and PPNB proposed according to the excavations at Jericho in the 1950ies as a possible chronological framework but misleading, because it suggests “[…] cultural changes where are none“ (Coqueugniot 2014:94, trans. MB).

The uninterrupted sequence of the radiocarbon data (s. Fig. 1) supports this conclusion. However, some aspects should be considered carefully.

Phase I is well dated by six radiocarbon dates (with a BP range below +/- 150)1 to a range between 9130 cal BC and 8640 cal BC (Lyon 4706-Lyon 4704). There is only one date, Lyon-2604, which gives a calibrated age of 9305 to 9205 cal BC. When compared to the two data from the natural soil, below the first occupation, which range between 9130 cal BC and 8800 cal BC, this date seems too old. There is also one more recent date (Lyon (GrA) 6902) ranging between 8710 cal BC and 8560 cal BC. It is probably intrusive and belongs to Phase II. The bone sample Ly 2614 is much too recent, being out of the range all other data.

The assessment of the chronology of Phase I is quite difficult because all dates of that early phase and of the pre-occupation phase cluster on the plateau between 9120 cal BC and 8850 cal BC.

Moreover, the sum of the radiocarbon data from Phase I-II (9120-8720 cal BC) overlaps with that of phase I.

The sum of the radiocarbon data from Phase II ranges between 8790 cal BC and 8480 cal BC with two probable outliers (Ly 15455 and Ly 13630). So this phase overlaps with the “Phase de Transition” defined at Jerf el Ahmar by Danielle Stordeur and Frédéric Abbès (2002) and the beginning of the early PPNB.

The sum of the radiocarbon data from Phase III ranges between 8540 cal BC and 8290 cal BC. This range is again on a rather flat area of the calibration curve, corresponding to the early PPNB.

To sum up, the ranges of the radiocarbon data from Dja’de suggest an uninterrupted occupation of Dja’de from 9120 cal BC to 8290 cal BC. Whereas the data of Phases I and III give rather identical ranges for each phase, respectively, those of Phase II seem to show a continuous development (Fig. 1). This distribution is due to the curse of the calibration curve with two plateaus between 9120 and 8850 cal BC and 8550 and 8300 cal BC, whereas the range between 8850 and 8550 cal BC corresponds to a steeper part.
The radiocarbon data thus underline a continuous occupation from the late PPNA until the very end of the early PPNB. Although a possible hiatus might be hidden because of the two plateaus of the calibration curve, the technological and cultural changes of material culture speak in favour of a continuous evolution (Coqueugniot 2014).

1)      All calibrated ranges are given in the 1-sigma range (68%); radiocarbon data with BP ranges larger than +/- 150 were not considered for calibration.

14C Dates

 Code  BP Dev. Δ13C Location material References
*Ly 14494 8690 45 Phase I, DJ07, BW, G10 contaminated during measurements with benzene (written comm. 5.2.15; E.Coqueugniot)) Coqueugniot 2014:107
*Ly 14514 9345 40 Phase II base; DJ07-E-K5; burnt building; probably contaminated contaminated during measurements with benzene (written comm. 5.2.15; E.Coqueugniot)) Coqueugniot 2014:107
*Ly 14515 9155 40 Phase II, base; DJ07-E-M3, contaminated contaminated during measurements with benzene (written comm. 5.2.15; E.Coqueugniot)) Coqueugniot 2014:107
*Lyon 6902 (GrA) 9360 45 Phase I (too young); DJ09-Bs (z=850). AMS Coqueugniot 2014:107
Beta 268168 9560 50 natural soil; DJ09-B z=850; test cut behind, seed of Arnibia in the natural soil. S (AMS) Coqueugniot 2014:107
LTL 3332A 9562 65 Phase I; DJ07-SB-base (beneath the floor of the 1st occupation) ? Coqueugniot 2014:107
Ly 10845 9175 55 Phase III; Sect C - CCHE G 11B CH www.archeometrie.mom.fr/banadora/echantillon.php?num=13124&cpt=5
Ly 10846 9250 55 Phase III; Sect. D - CCHE H2C CH www.archeometrie.mom.fr/banadora/echantillon.php?num=13125&cpt=6
Ly 10847 9210 55 Phase III; Sect. SF-CCHE DI CH www.archeometrie.mom.fr/banadora/echantillon.php?num=13126&cpt=7
Ly 10848 9150 55 Phase III; Sect SF-CCHE F11 A2 CH www.archeometrie.mom.fr/banadora/echantillon.php?num=13127&cpt=8
Ly 10849 9210 95 Phase III; Sect. ST-CCHE F3 CH www.archeometrie.mom.fr/banadora/echantillon.php?num=13128&cpt=9
Ly 11328 9145 50 Phase III; ECH.216-Sect.D- Couche G11B CH (Bois) www.archeometrie.mom.fr/banadora/echantillon.php?num=14441&cpt=10
Ly 11329 9480 50 Phase I-II; ECH.233-SECT.B Couche K1 CH (Bois) www.archeometrie.mom.fr/banadora/echantillon.php?num=14442&cpt=11
Ly 11330 9410 50 Phase II; DJ01-ST-C2b. CH
Ly 12110 9570 50 Phase I-II ECH.289-DJ02-Locus W4 CH (Bois) www.archeometrie.mom.fr/banadora/echantillon.php?num=15548&cpt=12
Ly 12112 9290 45 Phase III; DJ02-CD-YZ56-COUCHE H6B CH www.archeometrie.mom.fr/banadora/echantillon.php?num=15550&cpt=14
Ly 13628 9305 45 Phase II; DJ04-E-H4a ? Coqueugniot 2014:106
Ly 13629 9440 45 Phase II, DJ04-EI1e ? Coqueugniot 2014:106
Ly 13630 9000 40 Phase II, DJ04-E-I2b ? Coqueugniot 2014:106
Ly 13631 9340 45 Phase II, DJ04-E-I5 ? Coqueugniot 2014:106
Ly 14032 9420 45 Phase II, DJ06-BW-F1a; CH, poteau maison brûlée Coqueugniot 2014:106
Ly 14033 9220 60 Phase II, JD106-E-K5 ? Coqueugniot 2014:106
Ly 15185 9345 45 Phase II, DJ05, BW-F1a ? Coqueugniot 2014:107
Ly 15186 9315 40 PHase II, DJ05-E-K1 ? Coqueugniot 2014:107
Ly 15454 9320 45 Phase IIb, DJ10, F-E15b2 (fire place 736) ? Coqueugniot 2014:107
Ly 15455 9150 40 Phas II, DJ05, E-a1-K1, structure 549 ? Coqueugniot 2014:107
Ly 5820 9540 290 Phase III; DJ91-C-X4-F5 Très faible quantité de C 1) Coqueugniot 1999 2) homepage CNRS last access 16.9.08
Ly 5821 9610 170 Phase III; DJ91-B-X4-D4Très faible quantité de C Coqueugniot 1999
Ly 5822 9160 75 Phase III; DJ91-C->4-F4 Carbone abondant Coqueugniot 1999
Ly 5823 9140 390 Phase III; DJ91-C-Y4-F4 Très faible quantité de C Coqueugniot 1999
Ly 6164 9070 220 Phase III; DJ92-B-X-F4b Très faible quantité de C Coqueugniot 1999
Ly 6165 9100 80 Phase III; DJ92-B-X1/2-C4a(foyer XLI Coqueugniot 1999
Ly 6166 8990 100 Phase III; DJ92-B-Y3-F4 Très faible quantité de C Coqueugniot 1999
Ly 8841 9280 60 Phase III; DJ95-B-X2-D4c CH www.archeometrie.mom.fr/banadora/echantillon.php?num=10230&cpt=4
Ly 8842 9370 75 Phase II; DJ96-Bsond-xy3-G3base CH www.archeometrie.mom.fr/banadora/echantillon.php?num=10229&cpt=3
Ly 8843 9190 65 Phase III; DJ95-C-VW1/3-F5b CH www.archeometrie.mom.fr/banadora/echantillon.php?num=10228&cpt=2
Ly 8844 9245 65 Phase III; DJ95-B-Y1/2-E3d (fosse 91) CH www.archeometrie.mom.fr/banadora/echantillon.php?num=10227&cpt=1
Lyon 2603 (Poz) 9560 65 Phase I; DJ02-ST_C6c, on virgin soi, refuse pit. S www.canew.org, Coqueugniot 2014:106
Lyon 2604 (Poz) 9780 65 Phase I; DJ02-B-US 32, on virgin soil, painted house S www.canew.org, Coqueugniot 2014:106
Lyon 2614 (Poz) 8160 95 Phase I; DJ02-SECT.B; COUCHE C12 B www.archeometrie.mom.fr/banadora/echantillon.php?num=16020&cpt=16
Lyon 4704 9480 60 PHase I, DJ07-BW-G16, at the base of the painted building. AMS Coqueugniot 2014:107
Lyon 4705 9380 60 Phase II; DJ07, C-I17a AMS Coqueugniot 2014:107
Lyon 7795 (GrA) 9450 45 Phase Ia, DJ 10, B-x1 (floor 10, prof.- 945; Pit beneath the painted building) AMS Coqueugniot 2014:107
UBA 16007 9556 34 Phase Ia; DJ09-Bs(z=850); US 666/27; beyond 666. AMS Coqueugniot 2014:107
UBA 16008 9530 39 Phase I; DJ09-BE (z=850); 668. AMS Coqueugniot 2014:107
UBA 16009 9483 30 Phase IIb, DJ 01, B-x2/3-K4c. AMS Coqueugniot 2014:107
UtC-2369 9200 100 Phase III; DJ91-C-x4-F6 AMS Coqueugniot 1999



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Fig. 1 Calibrated radiocarbon data according to the startigraphic sequence of Phases I-III.

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