• Dating of Holocene Stratigraphy with Soluble and Insoluble Organic Fractions at the Lubbock Lake Archaeological Site, Texas: An Ideal Case Study

      Haas, Herbert; Holliday, Vance; Stuckenrath, Robert (American Journal of Science, 1986-01-01)
      The Lubbock Lake site, on the Southern High Plains of Texas, contains one of the most complete and best-dated late Quaternary records in North America. A total of 117 14C dates are available from the site, determined by the Smithsonian and SMU Laboratories. Of these dates, 84 have been derived from residues (humin) and humates (humic acids) of organic-rich marsh sediments and A horizons of buried soils. Most of the ages are consistent with dates determined on charcoal and wood, and with the archaeologic and stratigraphic record. The dates on the marsh sediments are approximate points in time. Dates from the top of buried A-horizons are a maximum for burial and in many cases are close to the actual age of burial. Dates from the base of the A-horizons are a minimum for the beginning of soil formation, in some cases as much as several thousand years younger than the initiation of pedogenesis. A few pairs of dates were obtained from hurnin and humic acid derived from split samples; there are no consistencies in similarities or differences in these age pairs. It also became apparent that dates determined on samples from scraped trench walls or excavations that were left open for several years are younger than dates from samples taken from exactly the same locations when the sampling surfaces were freshly excavated.