Title: Chronologies in wood and resin: AMS 14C dating of pre-Hispanic Caribbean Wood Sculpture
Author: Ostapkowicz, Joanna; Bronk-Ramsey, Christopher; Brock, Fiona; Higham, Tom; Wiedenhoeft, Alex C.; Ribechini, Erika; Lucejko, Jeannette J.; Wilson, Samuel.
Source: In: Journal of Archaeological Science, pp. 3349-3362; 2012
Publication Series: Journal/Magazine Article (JRNL)
Description: This paper establishes a chronological framework for selected pieces of Caribbean (Tafno/Lucayan) wooden sculpture, enabling previously ahistoric artefacts to fit back into the wider corpus of pre-colonial material culture. Seventy-two 14C AMS determinations from 56 artefacts held in museum collections are reported, including 32 ceremonial duhos, or seats. Far from being constrained to the last few centuries prior to contact, the dates for these objects extend back to ca. AD 250, and include the artistic legacies of various cultures. Duhos in both low and high back styles are present from about AD 600, if not earlier, in a distribution that spans the Antillean island chain from Trinidad to Cuba. Complex, drug-related paraphernalia and elaborate ancestral reliquaries are in evidence by AD 1000, as are some distinctive regional styles - such as the unique iconography from the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos islands. This paper explores relevant methodological issues - from the challenges of working with museum pieces (e.g., uncertain provenance, discrete sampling techniques, impact of previous conservation treatments on dating results), to dealing with potential 'in-built' age in tropical hardwoods.
Keywords: Carrbbean, Taino, Lucayan, Wood, Resin, Radiocarbon dating
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Ostapkowicz, Joanna; Bronk-Ramsey, Christopher; Brock, Fiona; Higham, Tom; Wiedenhoeft, Alex C.; Ribechini, Erika; Lucejko, Jeannette J.; Wilson, Samuel. 2012. Chronologies in wood and resin: AMS 14C dating of pre-Hispanic Caribbean Wood Sculpture. In: Journal of Archaeological Science, pp. 3349-3362; 2012.
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