Radiocarbon Dating the Fur Trade: Bayesian Analyses of Fur-Trade Era Radiocarbon Dates from the Lower Columbia River
The research was supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities (Grant RZ-50601-06).
International Journal of Historical Archaeology
The fur trade era is difficult to radiocarbon date. We demonstrate Bayesian methods robustly resolve some of the issues, applying them to radiocarbon date samples from two fur-trade era Native villages on the Lower Columbia River. Cathlapotle has a rich fur trade era documentary and artifact record; Meier has no documentary record and a sparse fur-trade era artifact record.We successfully tested the methods on Cathlapotle as a proof of concept and resolved empirical issues at both sites. The analysis suggests depopulation of both sites, probably resulting from epidemics, began in the mid to late eighteenth century but before direct contact.
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Ames, Kenneth & Brown, Thomas. (2018). Radiocarbon Dating the Fur Trade: Bayesian Analyses of Fur-Trade Era Radiocarbon Dates from the Lower Columbia River. International Journal of Historical Archaeology. 10.1007/s10761-018-0466-1