NSF grant for Dating Iroquoia

megan preparing maize for dating

Dr. Jennifer Birch (PI) and Sturt Manning (Cornell, Co-P) have recently recieved an NSF grant for a project entitled Establishing a High Resolution Framework for Age Determination, also known as “Dating Iroquoia.” This NSF-funded research will, for the first time, construct a high-precision radiocarbon chronology for select Northern Iroquoian site relocation sequences in Ontario and New York State. A pilot study conducted by Dr. Birch and her collaborator, Dr. Sturt Manning of Cornell University, indicated that the chronological placement of Iroquoian village sites based on ceramic chronologies and traditional radiocarbon dates in one site sequence was off by some 50-100 years. Additional Modern Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) dating of short-lived organic samples and Bayesian Chronological Modelling of those dates promise to greatly refine the timeframes for other community sequences. To this end the project involves the collection of botanical specimens from 42 Iroquoian village sites from which a minimum of 245 new AMS radiocarbon dates will be acquired. It is expected that this refined, independent chronology will permit enhanced understanding of processes of coalescence, the timing and directionality of conflict, nation- and confederacy-formation, and the introduction of European goods. Learn more about the project via the Dating Iroquoia blog and Instagram @datingiroquoia

Image: Research Assistant Megan Conger (UGA) prepares samples of carbonized maize for AMS dating