Marine or estuarine radiocarbon reservoir corrections for mollusks? A case study from a medieval site in the south of England

Paula J. Reimer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Mollusk shells are frequently radiocarbon dated and provide reliable calibrated age ranges when the regional marine reservoir correction is well-established. For mollusks from an estuarine environment the reservoir correction may be significantly different than the regional marine reservoir correction due to the input of bedrock or soil derived carbonates. Some mollusk species such as oysters are tolerant of a significant range of salinities which makes it difficult to determine which reservoir correction is appropriate. A case study is presented of an anomalous radiocarbon age for an oyster shell paint dish found in the fabric of the ruined nave walls of St Mary's Church, Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex, England. Stable isotopes (delta O-18 and delta C-13) were used to establish the type of environment in which the oyster had lived. Paired marine and terrestrial samples from a nearby medieval site were radiocarbon dated to provide an appropriate reservoir correction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-146
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science
Volume49
Early online date16 May 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2014

Keywords

  • Marine radiocarbon reservoir correction
  • Estuary
  • Stable isotope
  • Mollusc
  • Shoreham-by-Sea
  • English Channel
  • BONE-COLLAGEN
  • ISOTOPIC COMPOSITION
  • ENVIRONMENTAL-CHANGE
  • METABOLIC CARBON
  • SHELL CARBONATES
  • AGE CALIBRATION
  • BIVALVE SHELLS
  • COLORADO RIVER
  • LATE HOLOCENE
  • COASTAL

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