Precision dating of the Palaeolithic: A new radiocarbon chronology for the Abri Pataud (France), a key Aurignacian sequence

Thomas Higham, Roger Jacobi, Laura Basell, Christopher Bronk Ramsey, Laurent Chiotti, Roland Nespoulet

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    87 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper presents a new series of AMS dates on ultrafiltered bone gelatin extracted from identified cutmarked or humanly-modified bones and teeth from the site of Abri Pataud, in the French Dordogne. The sequence of 32 new determinations provides a coherent and reliable chronology from the site's early Upper Palaeolithic levels 5-14, excavated by Hallam Movius. The results show that there were some problems with the previous series of dates, with many underestimating the real age. The new results, when calibrated and modelled using a Bayesian statistical method, allow detailed understanding of the pace of cultural changes within the Aurignacian I and II levels of the site, something not achievable before. In the future, the sequence of dates will allow wider comparison to similarly dated contexts elsewhere in Europe. High precision dating is only possible by using large suites of AMS dates from humanly-modified material within well understood archaeological sequences modelled using a Bayesian statistical method. © 2011.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationJournal of Human Evolution
    Number of pages15
    ISBN (Print)1095-8606 (Electronic)\r0047-2484 (Linking)
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

    Publication series

    NameJournal of Human Evolution


    • AMS dating
    • Bayesian modelling
    • Gravettian
    • Ultrafiltration


    Dive into the research topics of 'Precision dating of the Palaeolithic: A new radiocarbon chronology for the Abri Pataud (France), a key Aurignacian sequence'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
    • Time for the Palaeolithic

      Tom Higham (Organiser), Laura Basell (Organiser), Rachel Woods (Organiser) & Katerina Douka (Organiser)

      14 Apr 201116 Apr 2011

      Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference


    Cite this