Radiometric dating of Southern Levant dolmens – Applying OSL to resolve an old debate

Kristina S. Reed, Uri Berger, Gonen Sharon, Naomi Porat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Many different chronologies have been suggested for the thousands of dolmens scattered in the Southern Levant. Almost 200 years after the first report of Southern Levant dolmens, the debate places their chronology from as early as the Neolithic to the Iron Age and even later. Not a single radiometric date has been available for these megalithic burials and the wide chronological range is typically based upon finds from excavated dolmen chambers, primarily pottery typology. We present here the application of Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) to date the sediments from inside dolmen chambers in two dolmen fields in Northern Israel – Shamir and Kela. The results demonstrate the applicability of OSL in achieving reliable dates for chamber sediments and set the chronology of the northern Israel dolmens to the Intermediate Bronze (IB). Furthermore, OSL is demonstrated to detect complex stratigraphic history of chamber infill, identifying the last phase of sediment accumulation, and even identifying different accumulation histories between dolmen fields.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104019
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science: Reports
Volume49
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier Ltd

Keywords

  • Dolmen chronology
  • Intermediate Bronze Age
  • Megalithic Burials
  • Optically stimulated luminescence
  • Southern Levant

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