P200 Introduction to Prehistoric Archaeology

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Interpreting the Archaeology of Klubmeddish

Site A: Allyaget Cave

When excavated, this cave contained eight different layers. (see sketch of layers) Carbon-14 dates on charcoal from the layers produced the following chronology:

Table A-1

 Layer

description

 C-14 dates

years bp (before present)

 Layer 1 (top)  1 meter layer of disturbed sediments, including artifacts from recent historical periods, with sterile rubble at the base  
 Layer 2 1 meter layer of undisturbed sediments under the rubble, rich in organic remains and stone features 5570 + 100 bp
 Layer 3 50 cm layer, including charcoal blown into the site from forest fires is common in the sediments of this level  6300 + 100 bp
 Layer 4  40 cm layer

7100 + 200 bp (from top of this layer)

8000 + 100 bp (from base of layer)

 Layer 5  60 cm layer  9,950 + 150 bp (middle of layer)
 Layer 6  30 cm layer  9,500 + 100 bp (top of layer)
 Layer 7  50 cm layer  11,000 + 100 bp (top of layer)
 Layer 8  1.3 meter thick layer, with undifferentiated sandy sediments and low density of artifacts

 14,300 + 200 bp (from top of layer)

20,700 + 300 bp (from base of layer)

Table A-2 below shows approximate frequencies of the artifact types found in the different layers. Note how the frequencies change through time.

[blank = absent; X=present, but rare; XX=common; XXX=abundant)

Table A-2 Artifact types in each level
 layer

 1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

 11

12

 13

 14

 15

 16

 1    

 X

   

 X

 

           

 XX

 2      

 X

 X

 

 X

 X

 XXX

     

 X

   

 XXX

 3      

 XX

 X

 

 X

 X

 XX

 

 X

 

 XX

   

 XX

 4      

 XX

 X

 

 XX

 X

 XX

 X

   

 XXX

 

 X

 X

 5    

 X

 X

 X

 X

 XX

 X

 X

 X

 X

 X

 X

 

 XX

 
 6  

 X

XX

 X

 XX

 X

 XXX

 X

 X

 

 X

 XX

 X

 X

 X

 
 7  

 XX

 XXX

 

 XXX

 XXX

 X

   

 X

 XX

 XX

 

 X

 

 

 8

 XX

 XX

   

 X

 

 X

     

 X

         

Table A-3 and Table A-4 below show approximate frequencies of the food remains found in the different layers. Note how the frequencies change through time.

Table A-3: Relative frequency of carbonized plant remains in each level
 Level

 wild berries

 oak acorns

 pistachio nuts

wild legumes (peas & lentils)

 wild emmer wheat

 domestic lentils

 domestic peas

 domestic wheat

 domestic barley

 1                  
 2    

 X

   

 X

 

 XX

 XX

 3    

 X

   

 X

 

 XX

 XX

 4

 X

 

 X

 X

 

 X

 X

 XX

 X

 5

 X

 

 X

 X

 X

 X

 

 X

 
 6

 X

 X

 X

 X

 X

       
 7

 XX

 XX

 X

 X

 X

       
 8

 XX

 

 

 X

         

Table A-4: Relative frequency of bones and other animal remains in each level
 Level

 land snails

 marine shellfish

 large fish

 small fish

 Deer

Gazelle

wild cattle

 wild goat (ibex)

 wild pig

 domestic goat

 domestic cattle

 1          

 X

     

 X

 X

 2    

 X

 

 X

 X

   

 X

 XXX

 X

 3    

 XX

 

 X

 X

   

 X

 XXX

 X

 4  

 X

 XX

 X

 X

 X

 X

 

 X

 XXX

 
 5

 X

 X

 X

 X

 X

 XX

 X

 X

 X

 X

 
 6

 X

 XX

 X

 XX

 XX

 XXX

 X

 X

 X

   
 7

 XX

 XX

 X

 XX

 XXX

 X

 XX

 X

 XX

   
 8

 XX

 

 X

 

 XXX

 

 XXX

 X

 XX

   

The teeth of the deer and goats (wild and domestic) in the samples were studied to determine the age-at-death of the animals (in months), compared between different levels. This type of study can reveal interesting patterns about both seasonality of site occupation, and hunting/herding strategies. These data are shown in Tables A-5 & A-6 below.

Table A-5: Deer age-at-death

 

 0-4 months

5-8 months

9-12 months

13-16 months

mature

old

 Level 3-2

 8%

16%

0%

11%

50%

(No skulls have antlers)

15%

 Level 5-4

 10%

15%

0

10%

 50%

(No skulls have antlers)

15%

 Level 7-6

 0

5%

20%

5%

50%

(two thirds of skulls have antlers)

20%

 Level 8

 8%

8%

8%

8%

49%

19%

Table A-6: Goats (both wild and domestic) Age at death

 

 0-4 months

5-8 months

9-12 months

13-16 months

mature

old

 Level 3-2

 0

5%

0

25%

10%

60%

 Level 5-4

 0

10%

0

25%

15%

50%

 Level 7-6

 5%

5%

20%

5%

50%

15%

 Level 8

 7%

10%

6%

9%

51%

17%

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Last updated: 10 March, 1999
URL: http://www.indiana.edu/~origins/teach/p200/xxx.html
Comments: sept@indiana.edu

Copyright Jeanne Sept 1998 : do not cite without permission