Radiocarbon dating of Kastrouli settlement: A critical assessment

Published: 24. February 2023
Category: Natural Sciences
Author: Georgios S. Polymeris, Ioannis Liritzis, Thomas E. Levyd

Journal of Cultural Heritage 61 (2023): Kastrouli14C_CulHer-2023

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The Kastrouli Late Mycenaean/Helladic settlement in Phokis near Delphi has produced extremely significant data since its inception in 2016, that has enriched our knowledge of the peripheral Mycenaean world. New radiocarbon dating data are presented and critically assessed with earlier reports concerning the span of the habitation and its later reuse. Five new dates are presented and modelled by Bayesian sta- tistical analysis and critically discussed along with other radiocarbon (14C) and both optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) and thermoluminescence (TL) dates (a total of 22) from the site. When considering the 95% probability range, there are two charcoal dates from Building 1 with ranges from 1411 to 1128 (calibrated) BC. For Building 2 the dates span between 1447 and 1281 BC, also if the limits of range are considered. The two dates on the burnt wood base of Building 2 suggest an earlier date ca.1440-1300 BC (Phase A), and a charcoal sample in the floor of building 1 suggests a later range of ca.1290 to 1130 BC (Phase B) same with a human femur bone from tomb A 1382-1221 BC. Phase A (part of the new ages) falls well within the Late Helladic era LH III B/C. Phase B includes also five radiocarbon ages of the bones from Tomb A which were about the same span of 1360-1112 BC (LH III B/C), concordant with archaeo- logical typology. These 14C set of dates are expected as they derive from a comingled burial. The lower 95% probability boundary of 14C ages corresponds to middle LH III C interval. Long calibrated age ranges are largely a product of wiggles in the calibration period for the period concerned, suggesting that any desired accuracy less than at least a century is unattainable. The results of OSL/TL and radiocarbon have wide enough uncertainties to allow that Kastrouli may have been occupied throughout the LH III B-C eras, and it is confirmed that the tomb was reused sometime during the Sub-Mycenaean, Geometric and later eras...

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