DATING THE MYANMAR BRONZE AGE: PRELIMINARY 14C DATES FROM THE OAKAIE 1 CEMETERY NEAR NYAUNG’GAN

Thomas Oliver Pryce, Aung Aung Kyaw, Lucy Andia, Louis Champion, Camille Colonna, Aude Favereau, Kalayar Myat Myat Htwe, Xavier Peixoto, Baptiste Pradier, Anna Willis, Fréderique Valentin, Antoine Zazzo

Abstract


Since 2014 the Mission Archéologique Française au Myanmar has been excavating a prehistoric cemetery, Oakaie 1, adjacent to the famous Nyaung’gan Bronze Age cemetery in Sagaing Division. Oakaie 1 (OAI1) was selected as a Nyaung’gan proxy in order to better understand the Neolithic-Bronze Age-Iron Age chronological transitions in upper-central Myanmar, for eventual regional-scale synthesis. An initial attempt to AMS 14C date 13 human femurs failed due to a lack of collagen but a subsequent effort using an apatite dating methodology on 5 femurs was successful. These preliminary data bracket part of the cemetery from the 9th to 6th c. BC with a 4th-3rd c. BC outlier. Typological and technological analogies between OAI1 and Nyaung’gan pottery grave goods likewise suggest an early 1st millennium BC date for the local Bronze Age.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7152/jipa.v39i0.14902

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