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Mid-Holocene Dates for Organic-Rich Sediment, Palustrine Shell, and Charcoal from Southern Iraq

19-02-2014


Carrie Hritz1 Ï Jennifer Pournelle2 Ï Jennifer Smith3 Ï Badir Albadran4 Ï Adil Al-Handal5 Ï Bushra Majeed Issa6

Abstract

In this article, we present the results of AMS radiocarbon dating of eleven samples collected from four locations in southern Iraq. As a result of the hiatus in fieldwork in that region since the 1980s, and the antiquity of the majority of archaeological excavations conducted there, the record of radiocarbon dates for southern Mesopotamia is patchy for all periods. This is especially true for the mid-Holocene, when the world’s oldest and longest-sustained urban system first emerged there. The dates here reported not only make a significant contribution to available dates for this important region and period; they fill specific gaps in crucial geographic coverage, and shed light on the extent of marshland boundaries and the antiquity of settlement at key urban centers.

 

1, Dept. of Anthropology, The Pennsylvania State University, 314 Carpenter Building University Park, PA, USA. 16823 cah52@psu.edu

2 Environment and Sustainability Program, University of South Carolina,901 Sumter St., Byrnes 430A, Columbia, SC, 29169, USA. Corresponding author. Email: jpournelle@environ.sc.edu.

3 Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Washington University in St. Louis, Campus Box 1169, 1 Brookings Dr., St. Louis, MO,63130 USA. jensmith@wustl.edu.

4 Department of Geology, College of Science, University of Basrah–Qarmat Ali, Basra, Iraq.

5 Marine Sciences Centre, College of Science, University of Basrah– Qarmat Ali, Basra, Iraq.

6 Department of Geology, College of Science, University of Basrah–Qarmat Ali, Basra, Iraq.

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