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ESR/U-series dating of Eemian human occupations of Northern France

Abstract : Palaeolithic sites associated with the Eemian Interglacial (MIS 5e) are very rare in NW Europe, and especially in Northern France, where their preservation is restricted to very specific geological contexts, in association with carbonated tufa (Caours) or peat deposits (Waziers). In order to check the reliability of ESR/U-series method to date teeth recovered from archaeological levels in such specific geological environments, teeth were sampled on these two Middle Palaeolithic sites and systematic in situ dosimetry was performed using portable gamma spectrometer. The ESR/U-series ages obtained on the Caours site are very homogeneous allowing the calculation of a mean age equal to 125 ± 11 ka, in agreement with the geological age, mammal's association and other available geochronological data (U-series on tufa carbonate, TL on burnt flints, OSL on sediments), despite a relatively heterogeneous dosimetric environment (gamma dose rate ranging between ca 200–450 μGy/a). At Waziers, reducing (water logging) environment linked to the peat leads to very specific U-series data of the analysed teeth (U content lower than 0.1 ppm in all the dental tissues, evidence of leaching in some tissues), but the mean ESR/U-series age, 129 ± 4 ka, is also in agreement with the available geological and palaeoenvironmental data indicating that the dated teeth were associated with Late Glacial deposits prior to the climatic interglacial optimum. These two case studies then confirm the reliability of ESR/U-series method to date with good reliability and accuracy the archaeological levels linked to such relatively short climatic events (ca 10 ka).
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Submitted on : Wednesday, April 27, 2022 - 12:13:35 PM
Last modification on : Friday, April 29, 2022 - 10:13:11 AM

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Bahain Jean-Jacques, Farkh Samer, Falguères Christophe, Shao Qingfeng, Voinchet Pierre, et al.. ESR/U-series dating of Eemian human occupations of Northern France. Quaternary Geochronology, Elsevier, 2022, pp.101305. ⟨10.1016/j.quageo.2022.101305⟩. ⟨hal-03653032⟩

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