It is difficult to construct archaeological chronologies for Babeldaob, the main island of Palau (western Micronesia), because the saprolitic clays of the dominant terraced-hill sites and associated ceramic sherds often contain old carbon that originated in lignites. This has implications, as well, for chronologies of sedimentary sequences. Comparative analysis of the dating problem using lignite, pottery, and charcoal samples indicates that, in fact, there are both old and young sources of potential contamination. It is concluded that radiocarbon samples from Babeldaob need to be tested for appropriate carbon content rather than relying solely upon material identification.
|Publication status||Published - 2005|