A Revised Chronology of the Lowest Occupation Layer of Pedra Furada Rock Shelter, Piauí, Brazil: The Pleistocene Peopling of the Americas

GM Santos, Michael Ian Bird, F Parenti, LK Fifield, N Guidon, PA Hausladen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The present work revisits the chronology of the archaeologically controversial Pedra Furada Rock Shelter of Southeast Piaui, Brazil, using an improved radiocarbon laboratory pre-treatment and measurements on charcoal samples. The procedure, known as ABOX-SC (acid-base-wet oxidation followed by stepped combustion), has previously been used to secure radiocarbon dates of >40ka for the antiquity of human occupation of Australia and South Africa, and now has been applied to charcoal from the previously dated oldest occupation layer of the Pedra Furada site. Previous radiocarbon dating had obtained only lower limits of 40-45 ka BP for the Pedra Furada basal layer. Nine charcoal samples from well-structured hearths were subjected to the ABOX-SC procedure and their radiocarbon content determined by accelerator mass spectrometry. Measurements on five of the samples returned ages of greater than 56 ka BP, from graphites produced from ABOX pre-treated charcoal combusted at 910degreesC. Two other samples were greater than 50 ka BP. The remaining two samples were essentially completely combusted at 650degreesC, with no material surviving to make a 910degreesC CO2 fraction. Their ages were 41.3 and 47.2 ka BP. Ages obtained from graphites generated from the 650degreesC combusted fraction are considered minimum ages. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2303-2310
Number of pages8
JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
Volume22
Issue number21-22
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2003

Keywords

  • MONTE-VERDE
  • EARLIEST AMERICANS
  • SOUTH-AMERICA
  • KA BP
  • AUSTRALIA
  • CAVE
  • SETTLEMENT

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