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Beavan N.,University of Otago | Halcrow S.,University of Otago | Mcfadgen B.,Victoria University of Wellington | Hamilton D.,SUERC Radiocarbon Dating Laboratory | And 10 more authors.
Radiocarbon | Year: 2012

We present the first radiocarbon dates from previously unrecorded, secondary burials in the Cardamom Mountains, Cambodia. The mortuary ritual incorporates nautical tradeware ceramic jars and log coffins fashioned from locally harvested trees as burial containers, which were set out on exposed rock ledges at 10 sites in the eastern Cardamom Massif. The suite of 28 14C ages from 4 of these sites (Khnorng Sroal, Phnom Pel, Damnak Samdech, and Khnang Tathan) provides the first estimation of the overall time depth of the practice. The most reliable calendar date ranges from the 4 sites reveals a high- land burial ritual unrelated to lowland Khmer culture that was practiced from cal AD 1395 to 1650. The time period is concurrent with the 15th century decline of Angkor as the capital of the Khmer kingdom and its demise about AD 1432, and the subsequent shift of power to new Mekong trade ports such as Phnom Penh, Udong, and Lovek. We discuss the Cardamom ritual relative to known funerary rituals of the pre to post-Angkorian periods, and to similar exposed jar and coffin burial rituals in Mainland and Island Southeast Asia. © 2012 by the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona.


Bonsall C.,University of Edinburgh | Cook G.,SUERC Radiocarbon Dating Laboratory | Bartosiewicz L.,University of Stockholm | Pickard C.,University of Edinburgh
Radiocarbon | Year: 2015

Nehlich and Borić (2015) regard our critique of their original study (Nehlich et al. 2010) as unfair in several respects. In the first place, they maintain that Nehlich et al. (2010) was merely a “pilot study,” and this accounts for the limited data set on which their conclusions were based. The title of the paper, however, describes it as a case study, which is quite different from a pilot study, and the former is the basis on which we chose to reinterpret their data. © 2015 by the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona.


Bonsall C.,University of Edinburgh | Cook G.,SUERC Radiocarbon Dating Laboratory | Pickard C.,University of Edinburgh | McSweeney K.,University of Edinburgh | And 6 more authors.
Radiocarbon | Year: 2015

Stable isotope ratios of carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur in human bone collagen are used routinely to aid in the reconstruction of ancient diets. Isotopic analysis of human remains from sites in the Iron Gates section of the Lower Danube Valley has led to conflicting interpretations of Mesolithic diets in this key region of southeast Europe. One view (Bonsall et al. 1997, 2004) is that diets were based mainly on riverine resources throughout the Mesolithic. A competing hypothesis (Nehlich et al. 2010) argues that Mesolithic diets were more varied with at least one Early Mesolithic site showing an emphasis on terrestrial resources, and riverine resources only becoming dominant in the Later Mesolithic. The present article revisits this issue, discussing the stable isotope data in relation to archaeozoological and radiocarbon evidence. © 2015 by the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona.


Beavan N.,The New School | Hamilton D.,SUERC Radiocarbon Dating Laboratory | Sokha T.,Royal University of Fine Arts | Sayle K.,SUERC Radiocarbon Dating Laboratory
Radiocarbon | Year: 2015

The Cardamom Mountain Jar and Coffn burial site of Phnom Khnang Peung is the most extensive example of the distinctive burial ritual frst reported by Beavan et al. (2012a). The 40 intact Mae Nam Noi and late Angkorian-era ceramic jars used as burial vessels held a total of up to 152 individuals, representing the largest corpus of skeletal remains of any of the 10 known Jar and Coffn burial sites that have been discovered in the eastern ranges of the Cardamom Mountains of Cambodia. We report here on the radiocarbon dating of this site and notable burial phenomena, using a Bayesian approach to model the start and end date of activity as well as its overall span. The results of the dating and Bayesian analyses indicate that the Phnom Khnang Peung site’s earliest burials began cal AD 1420–1440 (95% probability). Interestingly, the concentration of burial activity spans only 15–45 years (95% probability), despite the large number of inhumations at the site. The14C chronology presented for the site places the Highland burial ritual coincident with a period of economic, political, and societal transformations in the lowland Angkorian polity, but the unique burial practice and trade relationships evidenced by the burial goods and maritime trade ware ceramics employed in the burial ritual suggest these Highland people were a culture apart from Angkorian cultural infuences. © 2015 by the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona.

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