Debates over Palaeolithic chronology - the reliability of C-14 is confirmed

Sahra Talamo, Konrad A. Hughen, Bernd Kromer, Paula J. Reimer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


The debate about the complex issues of human development during the Middle to Upper Palaeolithic transition period (45-35 ka BP) has been hampered by concerns about the reliability of the radiocarbon dating method. Large C-14 anomalies were postulated and radiocarbon dating was considered flawed. We show here that these issues are no longer relevant, because the large anomalies are artefacts beyond plausible physical limits for their magnitude. Previous inconsistencies between C-14 radiocarbon datasets have been resolved, and a new radiocarbon calibration curve, IntCal09 (Reimer et al., 2009), was created. Improved procedures for bone collagen extraction and charcoal pre-treatment generally result in older ages, consistent with independently dated time markers. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2464-2467
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Archaeology


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