PPND - the Platform for Neolithic Radiocarbon Dates

 

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Tell Qaramel and the area of excavation. Foto: R. Mazurowski©.

Tell Qaramel, located on the Qoueiq River in northern Syria, is one of the rare sites which dates within the Younger Dryas and the early Holocene (Mazurowski et al. 2009). The stratigraphy was subdivided into four phases by the excavators (Horizon 0-4), Horizon 0 being the Epipalaeolithic layers and Horizon 4 the transition to the PPNB.

Although some of the dates are not consistent with the stratigraphy, they do roughly reflect the stratigraphic sequence. Phases 1 and 2 overlap for at least 350-500 years, but the dates of Phase 3 are clearly separated from Phase 2 (s. below).

The dates that are too old are probably aberrant because of old wood effects, especially those of Phase 3. The dates Gd 12638, Gd 15477, and Gd 3006 of Phase 2 and Gd 15502, Gd 12637, and Gd 467 of Phase 3 are definitely too young. They were also discarded by the excavator as aberrant.[1]

The compilation of radiocarbon dates reveals that both the GdA-date (AMS) and the GdS-dates from liquid scintillation spectrometry (LSC) are later than the conventional Gd-dates.

In an international comparison of conventional Gd-dates (Pazdur et al. 2000:12), the Gd-dates proved too old in three of four cases (+10, +148, and +540 years). Only one Gd-date was too young (-985 years). In contrast to the conventional dates, in two of three cases in an international comparison the GdS-dates were younger (-75, -130 years), and only one older (+300 years) (Pazdur et al: 2000:12). [2]

In conclusion, the GdS-dates tend to be too young both in intrasite and international comparisons. For the conventional Gd-dates the opposite is true: they tend to be too old in both intralaboratory and international comparisons. A similar trend can be observed at the site of M’lefaat, where the AMS dates of Oxford are much younger than the Gd-dates (Kozlowski 1994:262f.).

In order to interpret the systematically younger dates of the GdS analyses (and of the one GdA-date) of Phase 3 in Tell Qaramel, a more detailed international comparison would be necessary. However, on the basis of these observations, the early dates of Tell Qaramel (cf. Nemrik 9, M’lefaat) have to be considered with care; although a systematic deviation of the Gd-dates cannot be proven, in comparison with the material culture of the site they seem suspiciously old.

The only dates of Phase 3 later than 9400 BC are the five GdS-dates below, plus Gd-date 12 817, which was considered aberrant by the excavators [GdS 362: 9370-9240 BC, GdS 361: 9380-8920 BC, GdS 358: 9230-8850 BC, GdS 363:9130-8780 BC, GdS 360: 9130-8740 BC].                

It is not yet possible to explain this systematic deviation in comparison with other sites because only M’lefaat, Nemrik 9 and Tell Qaramel were dated in Gliwice, Nemrik 9 and Tell Qaramel being exclusively dated by this laboratory.

The sum of the dates has already been compiled by Mazurkowski et al. (2009). Variances in these sums are due to the fact that in our compilation dates with a higher deviation than +/- 150 years have been excluded. The sum of the dates – including the GdS-dates – range between: Phase 1: 10900-9700 BC; Phase 2: 10300-9300 BC, and Phase 3: 9280-8850 BC.[3]


[1] There is no plausible reason why the date of Gd 30062 could be considered too young, as it was by the excavators. It is thus retained in the following compilation.

[2] In an intralaboratory comparison the GdS-dates are in three of six cases younger (-140; -210; -240 years) than the conventional Gd-dates, in two cases older (+230, +40 years), and in only case the same.

[3] Even if all the dates were excluded that have been discarded by the excavators, there would be only minor changes:
Σ: Phase 1: 10900-9850 BC, Phase 2: 10200-9300 BC, Phase 3: 9280-8850 BC. However, without the GdS-dates the range of Phase 3 would be much older, between 9660 BC and 9240 BC.

 

14C Dates

 Code  BP Dev. Δ13C Location material References
Gd 11627 10170 70 Horizon 2, QRM 920/12 Mazurowski et al. 2009
Gd 11673 10280 90 Horizon 1, QRM 993/14 Mazurowski et al. 2009
Gd 11741 10680 60 Horizon 1, QRM 1442 Mazurowski et al. 2009
Gd 12502 10140 110 Horizon 2, QRM 894/13 Mazurowski et al. 2009
Gd 12503 10245 95 Horizon 1, QRM 948/9 Mazurowski et al. 2009
Gd 12504 10350 120 Horizon 2, QRM 926/10 Mazurowski et al. 2009
Gd 12506 10360 95 Horizon 1, QRM 958/19 Mazurowski et al. 2009
Gd 12510 10015 90 Horizon 1, QRM 918/18 Mazurowski et al. 2009
Gd 12514 10310 130 Horizon 1, QRM 893/21 Mazurowski et al. 2009
Gd 12515 10510 95 Horizon 1, QRM 988/15 Mazurowski et al. 2009
Gd 12637 8220 100 Horizon 3, QRM 1172 Mazurowski et al. 2009
Gd 12638 7370 80 Horizon 2, QRM 1275 Mazurowski et al. 2009
Gd 12639 10250 80 Horizon 1, QRM 1468 Mazurowski et al. 2009
Gd 12649 9830 100 Horizon 1, QRM 1445 Mazurowski et al. 2009
Gd 12651 10080 90 Horizon 1, QRM 1444 Mazurowski et al. 2009
Gd 12652 10090 100 Horizon 2, QRM 1325 Mazurowski et al. 2009
Gd 12797 10440 120 Horizon 2, QRM 2091/6 Mazurowski et al. 2009
Gd 12798 10900 110 Horizon 3, QRM 2055/4 Mazurowski et al. 2009
Gd 12799 10620 120 Horizon 1, QRM 1990/14 Mazurowski et al. 2009
Gd 12802 11420 130 Horizon 0, QRM 2056/13 Mazurowski et al. 2009
Gd 12811 10180 110 Horizon 2, QRM 1843/7 Mazurowski et al. 2009
Gd 12816 9870 95 Horizon 3, QRM 2079/3 Mazurowski et al. 2009
Gd 12817 9420 100 Horizon 3, QRM 1928/16 Mazurowski et al. 2009
Gd 12819 9950 110 Horizon 2, QRM 1882/11 Mazurowski et al. 2009
Gd 12820 9880 80 Horizon 3, QRM 2077/10 Mazurowski et al. 2009
Gd 15477 8860 110 Horizon 2, QRM 925/11 Mazurowski et al. 2009
Gd 15486 10220 140 Horizon 1; QRM 949/25 Mazurowski et al. 2009
Gd 15488 10590 150 Horizon 3, QRM 1014/17 Mazurowski et al. 2009
Gd 15502 7490 185 Horizon 3, QRM 921/24 Mazurowski et al. 2009
Gd 15676 10230 120 Horizon 1, QRM 1324 Mazurowski et al. 2009
Gd 15679 10700 140 Horizon 1, QRM 1398 Mazurowski et al. 2009
Gd 15680 10350 150 Horizon 3, QRM 1268 Mazurowski et al. 2009
Gd 15681 10280 150 Horizon 1, QRM 1443 Mazurowski et al. 2009
Gd 16285 10050 140 Horizon 3, QRM 1420 Mazurowski et al. 2009
Gd 17124 11900 610 Horizon 0, QRM 651/8 Mazurowski et al. 2009
Gd 17249 10170 280 Horizon 1, QRM 919/20 Mazurowski et al. 2009
Gd 17293 15020 280 Horizon 0, QRM 1206 Mazurowski et al. 2009
Gd 18035 10130 540 Horizon 2, QRM 653/7 Mazurowski et al. 2009
Gd 18036 10040 460 Horizon 2, QRM 646/5 Mazurowski et al. 2009
Gd 18038 10320 440 Horizon 1, QRM 650/6 Mazurowski et al. 2009
Gd 18296 14190 210 Horizon 0, QRM 1202 Mazurowski et al. 2009
Gd 30004 9990 120 Horizon 2, QRM 524/1 Mazurowski et al. 2009
Gd 30005 10295 85 Horizon 2, QRM 652/2 Mazurowski et al. 2009
Gd 30006 9120 230 Horizon 2, QRM 612/3 Mazurowski et al. 2009
Gd 30007 9850 160 Horizon 2, QRM 647/4 Mazurowski et al. 2009
Gd 30017 9690 100 Horizon 4, QRM 904/16 Mazurowski et al. 2009
Gd 30062 10360 80 Horizon 2, QRM 1399 Mazurowski et al. 2009
Gd 30070 10260 130 Horizon 3, QRM 1248 Mazurowski et al. 2009
GdA 466 9850 110 Horizon 3, QRM 1379 Mazurowski et al. 2009
GdA 467 8370 90 Horizon 3, QRM 1422 Mazurowski et al. 2009
GdS 358 9640 60 Horizon 3, QRM 2068/9 Mazurowski et al. 2009
GdS 359 9710 70 Horizon 2, QRM 2078/5 Mazurowski et al. 2009
GdS 360 9520 70 Horizon 3, QRM 2059/15 Mazurowski et al. 2009
GdS 361 9770 110 Horizon 3, QRM 2067/8 Mazurowski et al. 2009
GdS 362 9840 70 Horizon 3, QRM 2066/12 Mazurowski et al. 2009
GdS 363 9550 65 Horizon 3, QRM 1964/1 Mazurowski et al. 2009
GdS 364 9980 70 Horizon 2, QRM 1975/2 Mazurowski et al. 2009

 

 

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Fig. 1 Compliation of uncalibrated dates of Tell Qaramel.
Laboratory Gliwice:
GdA/GdS=AMS/LSC-dates
Gd=conventional dates
dates accepted by the excavators
o dates discarded by the excavators

     
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