5. Long Blades

The model for the currency of Long Blades is shown in Figure 3. Radiocarbon dates are available from only two sites. Eight measurements from Flixton II have been included. Four bones, one waterlogged twig and two samples of bulked sediment have been dated from the layer that included the butchered horse remains. One of the measurements on bone is considered inaccurate and it is probable that the samples of bulk sediment may have included aquatic macrofossils. This layer was sealed by an overlying sand, which itself was covered by an overlying peat that produced a date on waterlogged twig. This stratigraphic sequence has been included in the model. From Three Ways Wharf, Uxbridge, two dates are available on animal bone from lithic scatter A.

This model suggests that Long Blades first appeared in 11,575–9555 cal BC (95% probability; start long blades; Figure 3), probably in 10,540–9790 cal BC (68% probability). Long Blades disappeared in 9745–7840 cal BC (95% probability; end long blades; Figure 3), probably in 9590–8940 cal BC (68% probability). The imprecision of this estimate relates to the fact we have only two dated sites.

Figure 3
Figure 3: Probability distributions of radiocarbon dates associated with long blades. Each distribution represents the relative probability that an event occurs at a particular time. For each of the dates two distributions have been plotted: one in outline, which is the result of simple radiocarbon calibration, and a solid one, based on the chronological model used. Distributions other than those relating to particular samples correspond to aspects of the model. For example, the distribution 'start long blades' is the estimated date when long blades were first used in Britain. Measurements followed by a '?' have been excluded from the model for reasons described in the text. The large square brackets down the left-hand side along with the OxCal keywords define the overall model exactly. (red: excluded from model; grey: TPQ possible old-wood effect or hard-water error; blue: TPQ/TAQ stratigraphic constraint; red: excluded from model)


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