An international consortium of radiocarbon (14C) laboratories was established to date the origin of the St. George's Rotunda in Nitrianska Blatnica (Slovakia), because its age was not well established in previous investigations. Altogether, 20 samples of wood, charcoal, mortar and plaster were analyzed. The 14C results obtained from the different laboratories as well as between the different sample types were in good agreement, resulting in a 14C calibrated age of 783-880 AD (94.2% probability) for the Rotunda. Although the 14C results have very good precision, the specific plateau-shape of the calibration curve in this period caused the wide range of the calibrated age. The probability distribution from OxCal calibration shows, however, that about 86% of the probability distribution lies in the period before 863 AD, implying that the Rotunda could have been constructed before the arrival of Constantine (St. Cyril) and St. Methodius to Great Moravia. The Rotunda thus probably represents the oldest standing purpose-built Christian church in the eastern part of Central Europe.
- Nitrianska Blatnica
- St. George's Rotunda
- accelerator mass spectrometry
- radiocarbon dating
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)