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Felix Riede

Bayesian radiocarbon models for the cultural transition during the Allerød in southern Scandinavia

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During late Greenland Interstadial 1 (the Allerød chronozone), southern Scandinavia witnessed an abrupt cultural transition. This period marks the end of Late Magdalenian/Final Palaeolithic Federmessergruppen in the region, and the beginning of the Bromme culture. The latter is characterised by a restricted territorial range, loss of bow-arrow technology, and a general reduction in material culture complexity. Different hypotheses for the origin of the Bromme culture have been put forward, variously stressing local continuity or discontinuity. Different environmental and cultural factors have been suggested to force the observed changes, but crucially their precise timing remains elusive. Here, we review competing hypotheses for this cultural transition, and evaluate them using an audited regional database of the available 14C dates. We construct a series of Bayesian calibration models using the IntCal09 calibration curve to clarify timings of cultural continuity/discontinuity, probable duration of different techno-complexes, and relationships between environmental changes and material culture transitions. Our models suggest that the Bromme culture emerged late in the Allerød, and that the Laacher See-eruption most probably forced this cultural event horizon.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science
Pages (from-to)744-756
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2012

    Research areas

  • Late Glacial Laacher See-eruption Bayesian radiocarbon date calibration Bromme culture Southern Scandinavia

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