John Meadows “Radiocarbon: an Archaeological User’s Manual”
This presentation deals with several aspects of the use of radiocarbon dating in archaeology, including sample selection, measurement and calibration, and statistical methods for interpreting the results. The aim is to use our best estimates of the dates of individual samples to build reliable absolute chronologies for archaeological phenomena: sites, artefact types and cultural practices. Such chronologies should include realistic uncertainties, and should change as new discoveries are made and additional samples are dated.
John Meadows on radiosüsiniku ja isotoopide analüüsidele keskendunud vanemteadur Balti ja Skandinaavia Arheoloogia Keskuses (ZBSA) ning Kieli Christian Albrechtsi Ülikoolis (CAU) Leibnizi radiosüsiniku ja isotoopanalüüside laboris, Saksamaal. Varem on ta töötanud teaduslikel meetoditel põhineva dateerimise rühma liikmena English Heritages, Londonis.
Ilga Zagorska & Harald Lübke „Riņņukalns – new research on a long-known but nearly forgotten Neolithic freshwater shell midden in Latvia”
Riņņukalns, in northern Latvia, is unique in the context of Baltic Sea region prehistory because it is the only well-stratified Stone Age shell midden in the Eastern Baltic, and it is one of the few sites consisting mainly of freshwater mussel species. Discovered and first excavated in the 1870s, and sporadically re-investigated until the 1940s, it produced ceramics, bone tools and some art objects. Of special importance were at least four human burials, with some bone and stone grave goods, which were found under alleged intact layers of the shell midden, which could be dated to the Neolithic by pot sherds. Consequently Sievers considered these human remains, in contrast to other early modern burials found in the topsoil, as the first Stone Age graves found in the Eastern Baltic. However, this interpretation was contradicted by then leading Baltic prehistorians and the age of the presumed Stone Age graves remained in dispute.
After a break of almost 70 years, the Institute of Latvian History, Latvia, and the Centre for Baltic and Scandinavian Archaeology, Germany began cooperative research on this important site. Excavations in 2011 demonstrated that significant parts of the midden are still preserved intact, and yielded rich assemblages of fish bones and freshwater shells, as well as herbivore, human and bird bones. We have dated the new midden exposure to the late fourth millennium cal BC, and demonstrated the potential existence of large freshwater reservoir effects in human bones.
All human remains excavated by Sievers at Riņņukalns were given by him to the famous German researcher Rudolf Virchow for his anthropological collection in Berlin, and survived the chequered history of the 20th century until today. Therefore it was possible to start new osteological, stable isotope and radiocarbon investigations on these remains to resolve the old research dispute. It is proven now that at least two burials were of Prehistoric age. They belong according to the East European Terminology to the Eastern Baltic Middle Neolithic of the fourth millennium cal BC and are of the same age as the shell midden. Nevertheless, the values of stable isotopes 13C and 15N show that these people were still fishermen, hunters and gatherers and not farmers.
The co-occurrence of burials with in-situ remains of a wide range of dietary species provides an excellent opportunity to use radiocarbon and other isotopic signals to reconstruct human diet and mobility, as well as defining the site’s absolute chronology.
Ilga Zagorska töötab Läti Ajaloo Instituudis. Oma pika arheoloogi karjääri jooksul on ta tegelenud Läti varaseima asustuse ning mesoliitiliste kultuuride küsimustega, sarv- ja luuriistade tüpoloogiate ning kiviaegsete matmiskommete ja nende sümbolilise tähendusega Põhja-Euroopas. Veel viimase ajani jätkusid tema juhendamisel (algselt koos abikaasa Francis Zagorskisega; 2000ndatel koos Lars Larssoniga) väljakaevamised Euroopa ühel suurimal kiviaegsel kalmistul Zveinjekis.
Harald Lübke on vanemteadur Balti ja Skandinaavia Arheoloogia Keskuses (ZBSA), Saksamaal. Ta uurib Kesk-Euroopa põhjaosa ja Lõuna-Skandinaavia mesoliitikumi ja varaneoliitikumi. Lübke on teinud mitmeid allveearheoloogilisi uuringuid Läänemere lõunaosa kiviaegsetel ning hilisemate perioodide uppunud muististel.