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The older, the better? On the radiocarbon dating of Upper Palaeolithic burials in Northern Eurasia and beyond

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 August 2019

Yaroslav V. Kuzmin
Affiliation:
Sobolev Institute of Geology & Mineralogy, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Koptyug Avenue 3, Novosibirsk 630090, Russia Laboratory of Mesozoic & Cenozoic Continental Ecosystems, Tomsk State University, Lenin Avenue 36, Tomsk 634050, Russia (Email: kuzmin@fulbrightmail.org; kuzmin_yv@igm.nsc.ru)
Corresponding

Abstract

The reliability of radiocarbon dates for Palaeolithic human burials is of utmost importance for prehistoric archaeologists. Recently obtained dates for several such burials in central Russia raise important interrelated issues concerning site taphonomy and the precise radiocarbon-dating technique employed, with implications for the ‘true’ age of the burials. A critical review of the dating of the Sungir and Kostenki burials calls into question the reliability of employing ultrafiltration or single amino acids for the radiocarbon dating of Upper Palaeolithic bones.

Type
Debate
Information
Antiquity , Volume 93 , Issue 370 , August 2019 , pp. 1061 - 1071
Copyright
Copyright © Antiquity Publications Ltd, 2019 

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