Abstract

Radiocarbon analysis and ceramic typology assessment are commonly used to date late Holocene archaeological sites in Island Southeast Asia. We apply both methods to date the site of Macapainara in East Timor, and they produce substantially different age ranges for this site. The radiocarbon dates are consistently later in time than ceramic typology dates from the same or adjacent stratigraphic levels. We assess the various sources of error for the two dating techniques that could produce this discrepancy, and conclude that the ceramic typology age ranges are misleadingly old due to concerted curation of fine ceramics by the site occupants. We discuss the implications of this for dating sites in East Timor and elsewhere within Island Southeast Asia.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-8283
Print ISSN
0066-8435
Pages
pp. 143-156
Launched on MUSE
2014-09-15
Open Access
No
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