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Radiocarbon, Bayesian chronological modeling and early European metal circulation in the sixteenth-century AD Mohawk River Valley, USA

TitleRadiocarbon, Bayesian chronological modeling and early European metal circulation in the sixteenth-century AD Mohawk River Valley, USA
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsManning, SW, Hart, JP
JournalPLOS ONE
Volume14
Issue12
Paginatione0226334
Date Published12/2019
Abstract

European metal artifacts in assemblages from sites predating the physical presence of Europeans in Northern Iroquoia in present-day New York, USA and southern Ontario, Canada have been used as chronological markers for the mid-sixteenth century AD. In the Mohawk River Valley of New York, European metal artifacts at sites pre-dating the physical presence of Europeans have been used by archaeologists as a terminus post quem (TPQ) of 1525 to 1550 in regional chronologies. This has been done under the assumption that these metals did not begin to circulate until after sustained European presence on the northern Atlantic coast beginning in 1517. Here we use Bayesian chronological modeling of a large set of radiocarbon dates to refine our understanding of early European metal circulation in the Mohawk River Valley. Our results indicate that European iron and cuprous metals arrived earlier than previously thought, by the beginning of the sixteenth century, and cannot be used as TPQs. Together with recent Bayesian chronological analyses of radiocarbon dates from several sites in southern Ontario, these results add to our evolving understanding of intra-regional variation in Northern Iroquoia of sixteenth-century AD circulation and adoption of European goods.

URLhttps://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0226334#abstract0
DOI10.1371/journal.pone.0226334
Short TitlePLoS ONE