PPND - the Platform for Neolithic Radiocarbon Dates


36°23'30'' N    38°12'30'' E   Download OxCal File

The radiocarbon dates of Jerf el Ahmar[1] are very important for the interpretation of the cultural development and therefore will be discussed in detail. They were also used by Stordeur and Evin (2008) for the interpretation of the chronological development of Mureybet.

The distribution of the uncalibrated radiocarbon dates (Fig. 1) shows that the samples Ly 2600: 10595­+/-75 BP, Ly 2335: 10280+/-70 BP, and Ly 10650: 9065 +/-95 BP lay out of the main occupational phase.

The oldest occupational phases are documented by the remains of the cultural layers Niveau VII-IV on the eastern part of the site. Very few archaeological remains are associated with the youngest date Ly 10650. None of the three dates Ly 2600, 2335, and 10650 were considered in the calibration.

All dates of clear stratigraphic context seem to be consistent with the stratigraphy. Lyon 2809 and Ly 10648 are nearly identical, both dating Niveau III-Est.

Most of the samples date into a range between 9400-8600 BC and can be separated into three chronological phases. These three chronological phases were determined on the basis of the calibrated radiocarbon dates and the published architectural development (Stordeur, Abbès 2002:567; 592), but should be considered only as a working hypothesis.

The dates of the earliest relatively well documented phase concentrate around 9450-9240 BC. There are two charcoal samples, Ly 10651 and Ly 10648, with a high probability at the beginning of this phase, and seven AMS dates of cereals and other seeds with the same or slightly younger range.

The transition to Phase 2 is documented by the charcoal sample Ly 10652. Phase 2 itself probably dates between 9310 BC and 8910 BC,[2] its time range is extended by a flat course in the calibration curve.

The youngest chronological phase, Phase 3, is clearly separated from phase 2. The dates from Ly-10469 onwards slightly overlap in the 1-σ range with the youngest dates of Phase 2, but their sum clearly points to a more recent time interval between 8800 BC and 8610 BC.

Phase 1 corresponds to Niveau III-Est and the communal building EA 47.

Phase 2 may possibly be correlated with Niveau I of the eastern part of the site and the special building E7, and with Niveau 0 of the eastern tell, although the stratigraphic context of those dates has not yet been published.

Phase 3 correlates with the subdivided communal building EA 30 on the western tell (Niveau II/W), and with the huge monocellular communal building EA 53 of the eastern tell (Niveau -I/E). According to the radiocarbon dates, EA 53 is only slightly younger than EA 30.

It therefore remains an open question, whether the different types of communal buildings were in use simultaneously or in succession. The stratigraphy of the western tell implies that the subdivided building EA 30 of Niveau II/W was succeeded by the monocellular EA 100 almost immediately (Stordeur, Abbès 2002:Fig.2).

To conclude, the succession of building phases is not only supported by the stratigraphy and by the architectural development of the buildings, but also by the radiocarbon dates, which clearly indicate three different occupational layers. Yet it remains to be determined how rapid the succession of the different types of communal buildings was, or if they were not at least partly contemporary.

The earliest communal building, the „polyvalente“ E7 (and its predecessor), closely resembles Maison 47 of Mureybet, and probably is to be dated in Phase 2 between 9310 BC and 8850 BC.

[1] With the aid of www.canew.org, two dates (Willcox 1996:144) could be identified as the Beta-dates.

[2] 9310-9110 (48,8%); 9010-8910 (13,7%); 8900-8850 (5,8%).

14C Dates

 Code  BP Dev. Δ13C Location material References
Beta-71866 9740 60 AreaA 1) Willocox 1996:144; www.canew.org
Beta-71870 9810 60 Area C2 1) Willocox 1996:144; www.canew.org
Ly 10647 9395 55 C 99-43, Niveau -I, (EA 53), "transitional phase PPNA-PPNB" (1:47) CH 1) Edwards et al. 2004, 2) Sayej 2004)
Ly 10648 9855 70 C 99-46, Niv. III/E, (EA 47) CH Sayej 2004
Ly 10649 9445 75 C 98-34 Niv. II/W (EA 30) (1:47) CH 1)Edwards et al. 2004, 2) Sajey 2004
Ly 10650 9065 95 C 75 CH www.archeometrie.mom.fr/bandadora/echantillon.php?num=13104&cpt=8
Ly 10651 9965 55 C 88, Niv. V/E (floor) CH Sayej 2004
Ly 10652 9705 135 C 72 CH www.archeometrie.mom.fr/bandadora/echantillon.php?num=13106&cpt=10)
Ly 10653 9810 55 C2001 CH www.archeometrie.mom.fr/bandadora/echantillon.php?num=13107&cpt=11)
Ly 275 (OxA) 9790 80 Sayej 2004
Ly 7489 9680 90 A 15 C6 CH Sayej 2004
Lyon 1578 9440 60 C2002 S (graines) www.arhceometrie.mom.fr/bandadora/echantillon.php?num=13108&cpt=12
Lyon 1579 9620 60 C2003 Building 10, room 2 S(Brassica,Sinapis sp.) www.arhceometrie.mom.fr/bandadora/echantillon.php?num=13109&cpt=13; www.canew.org
Lyon 2332 9570 70 68-632 S (cereales) www.archeometrie.mom.fr/bandadora/echantillon.php?num=15704&cpt=17
Lyon 2333 9815 70 69-541 S (graines) www.archeometrie.mom.fr/bandadora/echantillon.php?num=15705&cpt=18
Lyon 2334 9980 70 71-480 - US 28 S (graines) www.archeometrie.mom.fr/bandadora/echantillon.php?num=15707&cpt=20
Lyon 2335 10280 70 72-578 - US 202 Est S (graines) www.archeometrie.mom.fr/bandadora/echantillon.php?num=15708&cpt=21
Lyon 2336 9545 70 75-631 S (graines) www.archeometrie.mom.fr/bandadora/echantillon.php?num=15711&cpt=24
Lyon 2337 9900 70 77-636-US 199 Ouest S (graines) www.archeometrie.mom.fr/bandadora/echantillon.php?num=15713&cpt=26
Lyon 2597 9960 70 61-305 - US E9 S (cereales) www.archeometrie.mom.fr/bandadora/echantillon.php?num=15702&cpt=15
Lyon 2598 9715 65 64-262 - US C4A S (cereales) www.archeometrie.mom.fr/bandadora/echantillon.php?num=15703&cpt=16
Lyon 2599 9890 60 70-614 S (graines) www.archeometrie.mom.fr/bandadora/echantillon.php?num=15706&cpt=19
Lyon 2600 10595 75 74-514 - US 12 S (graines) www.archeometrie.mom.fr/bandadora/echantillon.php?num=15710&cpt=23
Lyon 2601 9580 65 76-564- US 131 Ouest S (graines) www.archeometrie.mom.fr/bandadora/echantillon.php?num=15712&cpt=25
Lyon 2602 9835 70 78-654 US 209 Ouest S (graines) www.archeometrie.mom.fr/bandadora/echantillon.php?num=15714&cpt=27
Lyon 2809 9835 55 EA 47-Niv3/Est-135 S (graines) www.archeometrie.mom.fr/bandadora/echantillon.php?num=17445&cpt=28



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Fig. 1 Uncalibrated radiocarbon dates of Jerf el-Ahmar. A correlation of the dates with the stratigraphy is only given for the first five dates on the left side. For all the other dates no stratigraphic information has yet been published.

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