• Age Determination of Fossil Bones from the Vindija Neanderthal Site in Croatia

      Wild, Eva Maria; Paunovic, Maja; Rabeder, Gernot; Steffan, Ilse; Steier, Peter (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2001-01-01)
      Vindija cave in Croatia is famous for the Neanderthal bones found in layer G of its sediment profile. Radiocarbon dating has been performed mainly on this layer due to the great interest in its fossils. In addition to Neanderthal remains, the sediment in layer G contains bones from the cave bear. Cave bear bones are found also in other layers of the sediment profile and offer the possibility of studying the bears' evolutionary mode. Therefore, we tried to determine the time span covered by the entire profile. The U/Th age determination method was applied to cave bear bones from different layers of the profile. For the younger part of the profile, the U/Th ages were compared with the results of the 14C and the amino-acid racemization method. The agreement of the different methods indicates that closed-system behavior can be assumed for the fossil bones from Vindija cave. From this finding it may be deduced that bones from the lower sediment layers are also closed systems and that the U/Th ages of these layers are reliable. This conclusion is corroborated by the stratigraphy of the cave profile.
    • The Kennewick Skeleton: Chronological and Biomolecular Contexts

      Taylor, R. E.; Smith, David Glenn; Southon, John R. (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2001-01-01)
      A human skeleton recovered near Kennewick, Washington, USA in 1996 has been dated to the early Holocene on the basis of multiple radiocarbon determinations, an analysis of a style of a temporally diagnostic projectile point found embedded in the ilium of the skeleton, and geological investigations of the locality where the skeleton was recovered. Based on morphological criteria, the Kennewick skeleton, which is one of the most complete early Holocene human skeletons recovered so far in the Western Hemisphere, appears to be more similar to those of modern South Asians and Europeans than to modern Native Americans or to contemporary indigenous populations of Northeast Asia.