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Temporal and Spatial Patterns of the Funnel Beaker Culture

In the northern part of Middle-Europe and in southern Scandinavia, early monumentality and social differentiation are connected with the funnel beaker culture in which a first Neolithic tradition develops and also for the first time, labour and resources were invested in the construction of monuments still visible today. However, strong regional differences as well as subtle variations in the chronologies of micro-regions do exist. Detailed and accurate independent chronologies for the individual regions are therefore essential to quantify the spatial patterns of the developing Neolithic cultures. The construction of such chronologies is for this time interval impeded by several “age plateaus” – that is extended calendar time intervals that in a measurement today give the same 14C concentration – in the radiocarbon calibration curve.

This project will act as a 14C central dating and chronology project for the other SPP projects. The 14C dating needs of the other projects will be combined and the dating will be coordinated to produce optimum detail and comparability of the individual time scales, also in view of the age plateaus. Problems with low carbon sample materials and potential freshwater reservoir ages, e.g. in shells, fish bones, and food crusts, will be dealt with in a consistent way and, where possible and needed, information from stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes will be obtained in cooperation with the bone-reservoir-age project.