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Verhegge J.,Ghent University | Missiaen T.,Ghent University | Van Strydonck M.,Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage | Crombe P.,Ghent University
Radiocarbon | Year: 2014

The Mesolithic-Neolithic transition in the wetland margins of the southern North Sea basin occurred well over a millennium after the transition in neighboring loess regions. This article investigates the possible role of hydrological dynamics in the presence of the last hunter-gatherer-fishermen in these wetland regions. A Bayesian modeling approach is used to integrate stratigraphic information and radiocarbon dates both from accurately datable archaeological remains and key horizons in peat sequences in the Scheldt floodplain of northwestern Belgium. This study tests whether the Swifterbant occupation of the study area was contemporaneous with hiatuses in peat growth caused by organic clastic sedimentation due to increased tidal influences and local groundwater rise. The results suggest that the appearance of this culture followed shortly after the emergence of a brackish tidal mudflat landscape replacing a freshwater marsh. © 2014 by the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona. Source


Van Strydonck M.,Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage | Benazeth D.,Departement des antiquites egyptiennes
Radiocarbon | Year: 2014

Dating of Coptic textiles performed in the early days of the radiocarbon dating method was revisited. In 1957-1958, Louvre curator and art historian P du Bourguet had 4 Coptic textiles 14C dated by the Saclay laboratory. The results were rejected, not because of the large standard deviation (>100 yr), but because their ages did not support his chronological framework based on typological comparison. Furthermore, textiles with comparable ages were dated several centuries apart. As a result of this investigation, for many decades art historians rejected 14C as a dating tool for Coptic textiles. Re-examination of the old data and new 14C analyses revealed that mistakes were made, both in the reporting as in the interpretation of the data and that the textiles are much older than presumed. © 2014 by the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona. Source


De Mulder G.,Ghent University | Van Strydonck M.,Ghent University | Annaert R.,Flemish Heritage Institute | Boudin M.,Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage
Radiocarbon | Year: 2012

Radiocarbon dating of cremated bone is a well-established practice in the study of prehistoric cremation cemeteries since the introduction of the method in the late 1990s. 14C dates on the Late Bronze Age urnfield and Merovingian cemetery at Borsbeek in Belgium shed new light on Merovingian funerary practices. Inhumation was the dominant funerary rite in this period in the Austrasian region. In the Scheldt Valley, however, some cremations are known, termed Brandgruben-gräber, which consist of the deposition of a mix of cremated bone and the remnants from the pyre in the grave pit. 14C dates from Borsbeek show that other ways of deposition of cremated bone in this period existed. In both cases, bones were selected from the pyre and wrapped in an organic container before being buried. Recent excavation and 14C dates from another Merovingian cemetery at Broechem confirmed the information about the burial rites and chronology from Borsbeek. This early Medieval practice of cremation rituals seems an indication of new arrivals of colonists from northern regions where cremation remained the dominant funerary rite. Another case at Borsbeek shows the reuse of a Late Bronze Age urn in the Merovingian period. This practice is known from Viking burials in Scandinavia, but was not ascertained until now in Flanders. © 2012 by the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona. Source


De Mulder G.,Ghent University | van Strydonck M.,Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage | De Clercq W.,Ghent University
Radiocarbon | Year: 2013

A Brandgrubengrab entails a specific way of depositing human remains whereby the cremated remains of the deceased and other remnants of the funeral pyre, such as charcoal and burnt objects, are jointly deposited onto the bottom of a pit. This type of burial became increasingly popular during the Late Iron Age and the Roman period, when it was the main basic funerary structure used in western Flanders. In recent years, more attention has been paid to establishing a more precise chronology for these funerary structures by applying radiocarbon dating. A set of 40 14C dates obtained from samples originating from small cemeteries and isolated cremations now offers new insights in the development of this specific cremation burial ritual. © 2013 by the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona. Source


van Strydonck M.,Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage | Boudin M.,Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage | de Mulder G.,Ghent University
Radiocarbon | Year: 2010

In order to reveal a possible carbon exchange between carbon dioxide of the fuel and the bone apatite during the cremation process an experiment was set up using fossil fuel. Two setups were constructed, one using natural gas and one using coal. In both experiments, a carbon substitution in the apatite was revealed. © 2010 by the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona. Source

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