Dating in the dark uk sarah harding
To put it into perspective, the standing stones at Stonehenge, which is slightly older than the Shamir dolmen field, are each around 13 feet high, almost 7 feet wide and weigh 25 tons — half that of the capstone.
All the stones of Dolmen 3 together weigh somewhere in the vicinity of 400 tons, the researchers said.
It was also the first complex “multi-dolmen” reported in the Levant, with at least four sub-chambers, indicating some kind of social hierarchy.
3D model of rock art drawings etched into the basalt capstone of Dolmen 3 in the Shamir Dolmen Field in northern Israel.
Each drawing differs slightly in the length and curve of the arc.
The cryptic artwork has archaeologists stumped, but they suggest in the paper that they could be “schematic human forms or symbolic representations of the soul of the deceased,” perhaps indicating the path awaiting those buried therein.
Digging below the surface of the tomb chamber, archaeologists found the fragmentary remains of an 8- to 10-year old child, a young adult and a 35- to 45-year-old adult, all buried around the time the dolmen was erected.
Their bones were gathered up and interred in a secondary burial.
As archaeologists understood this period until now, the sophisticated city-state governments of the Early Bronze Age collapsed, the towns emptied out, and large-scale agriculture ceased.
It’s a rare case, they said, where rock art is discovered in an archaeological context.
The patina inside the carving matches the surrounding rock face, suggesting it’s of the same age as the dolmen tomb, researchers said.
“Despite the heavy fragmentation, the preservation of the bone tissue was surprisingly good and it was possible to identify remains from all parts of the skeleton, from skull to leg bones, in each concentration,” the researchers said.
Now they’re trying to nail down their age with radiocarbon dating, “but the poor chemical preservation of the bones is challenging the dating process.” The presence of beads from a later period suggests that the dolmen was reused again at some point after the three were buried there.