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 Dating the Tamalin Site
  Dating the Tamalin Site

The date of the Tamalin Site was first determined as part of the ¡§An Archaeological Study of the Chuoshui River and Tatu River Areas in Taiwan Province¡¨ led by the late Chang Kuang-chih. The charcoal samples unearthed by Richard stamps at Tamalin were dated by Carbon-14 dating to a time range between 2400¡V1700B.P. A second batch of carbon-14 data came from excavation work done by Liu Yi-chang on land used by dormitories at Puli Senior High School in 1996. charcoal samples collected from prehistoric cultural strata were tested by the Carbon-14 Dating Laboratory, in National Taiwan University¡¦s Department of Geosciences. Revised data dated the samples as coming from around 2700¡V2500B.P. effectively indicating that the Tamalin site is older than previously thought (please refer to table one).


Table One: Carbon-14 Dating of the Tamalin Site
Specimen No Unearthed test pit position Underground depth (cm) Carbon-14 Dating 5730¡Ó40 Half-life Date correction Data source
NTU-192 PA-B Eastern section   1836¡Ó55B.P. 1700-1840 Chang Kuang-chih ed. 1977: 429; Shih Chang-ju, Liu Yi-chang 1987: 143
NTU-193 PA-B Western section   1892¡Ó60B.P. 1770-1880 Chang Kuang-chih ed. 1977: 429; Shih Chang-ju, Liu Yi-chang 1987: 143
NTU-194 PC L4 120-150 1901¡Ó60B.P. 1770-1880 Chang Kuang-chih ed. 1977: 429; Shih Chang-ju, Liu Yi-chang 1987: 143
NTU-195 PC L5 150-180 2167¡Ó65B.P. 1960-2340 Chang Kuang-chih ed. 1977: 429; Shih Chang-ju, Liu Yi-chang 1987: 143
NTU-196 PD L3 70 2263¡Ó70B.P. 2150-2370 Chang Kuang-chih ed. 1977: 429; Shih Chang-ju, Liu Yi-chang 1987: 143
NTU-2436 TML-01 T01P02B L3b 130 2710¡Ó90B.P. 2777 Liu Yi-chang 2000: 57
NTU-2437 TML-02 T0P02 L2a 145 2560¡Ó70B.P. 2720 Liu Yi-chang 2000: 57
NTU-2433 TML-03 T0P01C 130 2500¡Ó70B.P. 2708 2580 2539 2526 2514 2405 2402 Liu Yi-chang 2000: 57

Department of Anthropology of National Museum of Natural Science the Tamalin Site in 2001 collected potsherd samples and sent them to the Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry in Mainland China where thermo-luminescent dating (TL Dating) was conducted. The results are shown in table 2.

Table Two: Thermo-Luminescent Dates of Potsherds from the Tamalin Site
Lab No Specimen No Test Pit Position Strata Position Description of Specimen Thermo-luminescent Dating
TD-668 TML-2001-01 WBP-e1 L21 Coarse grayish sandy pottery 2540¡Ó200B.P.
TD-669 TML-2001-02 P13 L6 Fine grayish black pottery 1580¡Ó120B.P.
TD-670 TML-2001-03 WBP-e2 L20 Grayish coarse sandy pottery 2600¡Ó200B.P.
TD-671 TML-2001-04 WBP-d1 L19 Grayish orange fine sandy wares 2620¡Ó210B.P.
TD-672 TML-2001-05 WBP-e1 L17 Grayish orange fine sandy wares 2650¡Ó210B.

The table showing the TL dates of the potsherds indicates that they can be broadly divided into two time periods: Grayish coarse sandy wares and Grayish orange fine sandy wares, with a concentration in the period 2650¡V2540B.P. In addition, the Fine grayish black pottery is dated at 1580B.P. almost one thousand years later than the other specimens. From the location where the Fine grayish black pottery sample was unearthed we can determine that it is an object left behind by the deceased from a relatively later period. According to Ceramic seriatim conducted by WBP a similar conclusion can also be reached, namely that clay and sand tempered of black pottery are examples of pottery vessels from relatively late in the life of the Tamalin Site. The TL dates of this batch of potsherds broadly concurs with the range of earlier Carbn-14 dates, though the later dates have been extended around 100 years though this does fall within the range of the margin error (Ho chuan-kun, Liu Ko-hung, Chen Hao-wei, 2001).
TNT-Coarse grayish sandy pottery
TNT-Grayish fine sandy wares
TNT-Grayish orange fine sandy wares


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