Radiocarbon age of carbonate in fruits of Lithospermum from the early Bronze Age settlement of Hirbet ez-Zeraqōn (Jordan)
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Uncarbonized fruits of the Boraginaceae occur widely in cultural layers of archaeological sites in the Mediterranean and the Near East. To date, interpreting their origin remains problematic. It is difficult for archaeobotanists to tell whether such fruits were deposited as part of the cultural layer or were introduced post-depositionally. In an attempt to answer this question for the early Bronze Age site of Hirbet ez-Zeraqon (Jordan), we used direct 14C dating of biogenic carbonate from calcareous fruits of Lithospermum. The radiocarbon ages of seven fossil samples of the fruits suggest that they originate from plants that grew during or around the time of occupation.