Radiocarbon Dating in the Mariana Islands


One of the most enigmatic human dispersals into the Pacific is the colonisation of the Mariana Islands. Here the interpretation of radiocarbon (14C) dates from early settlement sites are hotly debated. One interpretation suggests the Marianas were colonised directly from the northern Philippines around ~3500 BP. However, the age of one of the earliest Mariana sites; Bapot-1, has recently been revised down to ~3200-3080 cal. BP following research by Petchey et al. (in press) which demonstrated that 14C depleted waters (hardwaters) had been incorporated into the estuarine Anadara antiquata shells, but not into shells belonging to reef dwelling animals. This research has demonstrated the importance of integrating radiocarbon, environmental and zoological information when building island chronologies. This presentation discusses our ongoing research into the marine 14C offsets in this region.

Cite this Record

Radiocarbon Dating in the Mariana Islands. Fiona Petchey, Geoffrey Clark, Patrick O'Day, Richard Jennings. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430803)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: 111.973; min lat: -52.052 ; max long: -87.715; max lat: 53.331 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15250