Cryptotephra of Icelandic origin from the open-air archaeological site of Ahrensh√∂ft LA 58 D (Kr.¬†Nordfriesland, Schleswig-Holstein), northern Germany overlies a Late-glacial Havelte lithic assemblage, hitherto dated by 14C and biostratigraphy to the earliest part of the Late-glacial interstadial (GI-1e to GI-1c3). Peaks in ash shards are observed in two profiles. Major and minor element geochemistry indicates volcanic ash originating in the Katla system. Precise correlation to previously described tephra is uncertain due to overlapping chemical characteristics. The Ahrensh√∂ft 14C determinations, litho- and bio-stratigraphy encompass a broad age-span for the cryptotephra bearing sediments, from the end of the Aller√∏d to the Preboreal. The most plausible volcanic eruption correlates are the Vedde Ash (‚àºYounger Dryas), already known from the European mainland, tephra AF555 (late Younger Dryas) and the Suduroy tephra (‚àºPreboreal/Boreal), hitherto recorded only in the North Atlantic region. These three ash horizons have been dated to, respectively, 12,171¬†¬±¬†57¬†yr b2k in the NGRIP ice-core, c.11,500¬†cal BP, in Scotland and c.8000¬†cal BP, by radiocarbon from the Faroe Isles. Ongoing research on deposits from the type sites for the tephra layers may in the future differentiate these markers leading to better discrimination of the chemistries and a resolution of this question.
Journal of Archaeological Science, 2012, Vol 39, Issue 3, p. 708-716
Late-glacial Early Holocene Tephrochronology Vedde Ash AF555 tephra Suduroy tephra Radiocarbon dating Taphonomy