OSL Dating of Neolithic Monuments at Capu di Lugu, Belvédère-Campomoro, SW Corsica

Sanderson, D. C.W. , Kinnaird, T. C., Leandri, F. and Leandri, C. (2014) OSL Dating of Neolithic Monuments at Capu di Lugu, Belvédère-Campomoro, SW Corsica. Technical Report. SUERC, University of Glasgow. (Unpublished)

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Corsica has rich and diverse archaeological landscapes including the remarkable Statue Menhirs, considered as emblematic adaptions from megalithism in a Mediterranean island setting. Megalithic monuments are numerous on the island, the relationship between the Corsican and other European examples relating to important questions of cultural contact and innovation in prehistory. Chronology is central to research frameworks within which the evolution and dynamics of island culture can be related to the European assemblage. Yet dating is problematic, depending largely on material with indirect associations with the critical stages of construction, modification, and disuse of the monuments and their environments. Further development of methods to date lithic monuments is needed, as is modern work to tie them to the chronologies of associated cultural landscapes and palaeo-environments. In this paper we present OSL investigations associated with archaeological intervention by the Regional Archaeological Service of Corsica (DRAC) at Capu di Lugu. Excavations were carried out in May 2014 at the Stantare Menhir and Tolla 2, a nearby chambered tomb. Both sites have been affected by past agricultural activities, and face further disruption with the resumption of upland pasturing. DRAC are therefore working closely with the proprietor to document surviving features and develop managed solutions to record and conserve archaeological elements in the landscape. Critical questions for the work reported here, were to assess whether OSL profiling could identify undisturbed sediments with clear associations to constructional features, which could be used for dating. Real-time profiling was used to map the luminescence chrono-stratigraphy of sediments associated with the principal stones on both sites. Some 92 samples were investigated in the field, from 10 sedimentary sequences. This was followed by laboratory characterisation of 33 selected sediments, and OSL dating of 5 samples. The profiling results can distinguish the natural stratigraphy of the immediate surroundings of the Stantare site from archaeological deposits in the stone socket, and revealed the gradations of luminescence intensity within it. The laboratory profiles however confirmed that the combination of modern root disturbance, and residual signals from degraded clasts in the fill, so far prohibit accurate dating of the Menhir setting. At the Tolla 2 site profiling data successfully identified a set of undisturbed sediments in key association to the principal end slab of the tomb. OSL dates were however obtained from sediments beneath the slab, which fall into the archaeological period. The youngest two imply a constructional date of 2870+-190 BC. We believe that these are the first successful OSL dates for construction of a major Megalithic monument in Corsica. Considering the results obtained on a degraded site such as Capu di Lugu, the method has potential for application elsewhere.

Item Type:Research Reports or Papers (Technical Report)
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Kinnaird, Dr Timothy and Sanderson, Professor David
Authors: Sanderson, D. C.W., Kinnaird, T. C., Leandri, F., and Leandri, C.
Subjects:C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Publisher:SUERC, University of Glasgow

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