Centuries of Marine Radiocarbon Reservoir Age Variation within Archaeological Mesodesma donacium Shells from Southern Peru
AuthorJones, Kevin B.
Hodgins, Gregory W. L.
Etayo-Cadavid, Miguel F.
Andrus, C. Fred T.
Sandweiss, Daniel H.
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CitationJones, K. B., Hodgins, G. W., Etayo-Cadavid, M. F., Andrus, C. F. T., & Sandweiss, D. H. (2010). Centuries of marine radiocarbon reservoir age variation within archaeological Mesodesma donacium shells from southern Peru. Radiocarbon, 52(3), 1207-1214.
DescriptionFrom the 20th International Radiocarbon Conference held in Kona, Hawaii, USA, May 31-June 3, 2009.
AbstractMollusk shells provide brief (5 yr per shell) records of past marine conditions, including marine radiocarbon reservoir age (R) and upwelling. We report 21 14C ages and R calculations on small (~2 mg) samples from 2 Mesodesma donacium (surf clam) shells. These shells were excavated from a semi-subterranean house floor stratum 14C dated to 7625 +/- 35 BP at site QJ-280, Quebrada Jaguay, southern Peru. The ranges in marine 14C ages (and thus R) from the 2 shells are 530 and 170 14C yr; R from individual aragonite samples spans 130 +/- 60 to 730 +/- 170 14C yr. This intrashell 14C variability suggests that 14C dating of small (time-slice much less than 1 yr) marine samples from a variable-R (i.e. variable-upwelling) environment may introduce centuries of chronometric uncertainty.