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Two Clocks: A Comparison of Ceramic and Radiocarbon Dates at Macapainara, East Timor

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Title: Two Clocks: A Comparison of Ceramic and Radiocarbon Dates at Macapainara, East Timor
Authors: Fenner, Jack N.
Bulbeck, David
Keywords: Radiocarbon analysis and ceramic typology assessment are commonly used to date late Holocene archaeological sites in Island Southeast Asia. We apply both methods to date the site of Macapainara in East Timor, and they produce substantially different age ranges for this site. The radiocarbon dates are consistently later in time than ceramic typology dates from the same or adjacent stratigraphic levels. We assess the various sources of error for the two dating techniques that could produce this discrepancy, and conclude that the ceramic typology age ranges are misleadingly old due to concerted curation of fine ceramics by the site occupants. We discuss the implications of this for dating sites in East Timor and elsewhere within Island Southeast Asia.
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: University of Hawai'i Press (Honolulu)
Series/Report no.: Volume 52
Number 1
Abstract: Radiocarbon analysis and ceramic typology assessment are commonly used to date late Holocene archaeological sites in Island Southeast Asia. We apply both methods to date the site of Macapainara in East Timor, and they produce substantially different age ranges for this site. The radiocarbon dates are consistently later in time than ceramic typology dates from the same or adjacent stratigraphic levels. We assess the various sources of error for the two dating techniques that could produce this discrepancy, and conclude that the ceramic typology age ranges are misleadingly old due to concerted curation of fine ceramics by the site occupants. We discuss the implications of this for dating sites in East Timor and elsewhere within Island Southeast Asia.
URI/DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/38722
ISSN: 0066-8435 (Print)
1535-8283 (E-ISSN)
Rights: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States
Appears in Collections:Asian Perspectives, 2013 - Volume 52, Number 1 (Spring)



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