Marine or estuarine radiocarbon reservoir corrections for mollusks? A case study from a medieval site in the south of England

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    Mollusk shells are frequently radiocarbon dated and provide reliable calibrated age ranges when the regional marine reservoir correction is well-established. For mollusks from an estuarine environment the reservoir correction may be significantly different than the regional marine reservoir correction due to the input of bedrock or soil derived carbonates. Some mollusk species such as oysters are tolerant of a significant range of salinities which makes it difficult to determine which reservoir correction is appropriate. A case study is presented of an anomalous radiocarbon age for an oyster shell paint dish found in the fabric of the ruined nave walls of St Mary's Church, Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex, England. Stable isotopes (delta O-18 and delta C-13) were used to establish the type of environment in which the oyster had lived. Paired marine and terrestrial samples from a nearby medieval site were radiocarbon dated to provide an appropriate reservoir correction.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages5
    Pages (from-to)142-146
    JournalJournal of Archaeological Science
    Journal publication dateSep 2014
    Volume49
    Early online date16 May 2014
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 2014

      Research areas

    • Marine radiocarbon reservoir correction, Estuary, Stable isotope, Mollusc, Shoreham-by-Sea, English Channel, BONE-COLLAGEN, ISOTOPIC COMPOSITION, ENVIRONMENTAL-CHANGE, METABOLIC CARBON, SHELL CARBONATES, AGE CALIBRATION, BIVALVE SHELLS, COLORADO RIVER, LATE HOLOCENE, COASTAL

    ID: 15726326