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Author:

[Blackwell, Bonnie|PublicAdministrativeSpace:Blackwell, Bonnie] [Schwarcz, Henry P.|PublicAdministrativeSpace:Schwarcz, Henry P.] [Debénath, André|PublicAdministrativeSpace:Debénath, André]

Title:

Absolute dating of hominids and paleolithic artefacts of the Cave of La Chaise-de-Vouthon (Charente), France

Journal:

Journal of Archaeological Science

Number:

6

Volume:

10

Year:

1983

Pages:

493-513

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Abstract:

Two adjacent chambers of the cave of La Chaise, Grotte de Bourgeois-Delaunay (B-D) and Grotte Suard, have been studied. Both were partly filled with detrital sediments containing lower and middle Palaeolithic artifacts and skeletal remains of pre-Neanderthalian hominids. Layers of stalagmitic calcite occur interstratified in the sediments of both chambers. Dates obtained by 230Th/234U ratios have provided a time scale for hominid and cultural evolution as represented in this cave. In B-D the lower travertine rests on a breccia containing cranial remains of juvenile Neanderthals. The base of the travertine dates to 151 ± 15 Ky (Ky = 1000 years BP); the top of the travertine yields a date of 112±5 Ky. The travertine contains pollen of an interglacial flora. Overlying detrital sediments 1- 2 m in thickness contain artifacts transitional from Acheulian to Mousterian industries. They are capped by a travertine (Layer 7) whose base is dated at 100±6 Ky, and which is capped by stalagmites ranging in age down to 58±7 Ky. Overlying the travertine is sediment containing first Mousterian, and then Aurignacian artifacts. Near the base of the sediments filling Grotte Suard is a stalagmite layer dated to 249±30 Ky. It contains interglacial pollen and presumably dates to the beginning of the isotope stage 7 interglacial. Neanderthaloid hominid teeth and cranial fragments are found scattered through the overlying sediments, up to a capping stalagmitic layer whose base is dated at 101±7 Ky. The best described hominids from Suard are from a section that was probably overlying the capping stalagmite. The capping stalagmite is temporally correlated with layer 7 of B-D.
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