Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Cross-Dating (Th/U-14C) of Calcite Covering Prehistoric Paintings at Serra da Capivara National Park, Piaui, Brazil

  • Michel Fontugne (a1), Qingfeng Shao (a1) (a2), Norbert Frank (a1), François Thil (a1), Niède Guidon (a3) and Eric Boeda (a4)...

Abstract

The question of when the first humans arrived in the New World has been a bone of contention for several decades. Similarly, the age of rock paintings has been heatedly debated. Settlements in the Serra da Capivara National Park have been dated to between 5 kyr and >50 kyr, which is far older than the Clovis barrier. Moreover, calcite formation on a rock-wall painting in a rockshelter yielded thermoluminescence (TL) and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) ages older than 35 kyr BP (Watanabe et al. 2003). In an attempt to contribute to this ongoing debate, we have studied calcite deposits covering prehistoric paintings from several rockshelters (Toca da Bastiana, Toca do Serrote de Moendas, and Toca da Gameleirinha [Pedra pintada]). Coupled AMS (accelerator mass spectrometry) 14C and MC-ICPMS (multi-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry) 230Th/U dating was performed in Toca da Gameleirinha. The ages obtained for these cal-cites are younger than 12 kyr and suggest that the paintings could be more recent than proposed by previous studies.

Copyright

Corresponding author

2 Corresponding author. Email: Michel.Fontugne@lsce.ipsl.fr.

References

Hide All
Beck, JW, Richards, DA, Edwards, RL, Silverman, BW, Smart, PL, Donahue, DJ, Hererra-Osterheld, S, Burr, GS, Calsoyas, L, Jull, AJT, Biddulph, D. 2001. Extremely large variations of atmospheric 14C concentration during the last glacial period. Science 292(5526): 2453–8.
Cheng, H, Edwards, RL, Hoff, J, Gallup, CD, Richards, DA, Asmerom, Y. 2000. The half-lives of uranium-234 and thorium-230. Chemical Geology 169(1–2):1733.
Douville, E, Sallé, E, Frank, N, Eisele, M, Pons-Branchu, E, Ayrault, E. 2010. Rapid and accurate U-Th dating of ancient carbonates using inductively coupled plasmaquadrupole mass spectrometry. Chemical Geology 272(1–2):111.
Genty, D, Massault, M. 1997. Bomb 14C recorded in laminated speleothems: calculation of dead carbon proportion. Radiocarbon 39(1):3348.
Genty, D, Massault, M, Gilmour, M, Baker, A, Verheyden, S, Kepens, E. 1999. Calculation of the past dead carbon proportion and variability by the comparison of AMS 14C and TIMS U/Th ages on two Holocene stalagmites. Radiocarbon 41(3):251–70.
Genty, D, Baker, A, Massault, M, Proctor, C, Gilmour, M, Pons-Branchu, E, Hamelin, B. 2001. Dead carbon in stalagmites: carbonate bedrock paleodissolution vs. ageing of soil organic matter. Implications for 13C variations in speleothems. Geochimica Cosmochimica Acta 65(20):3443–57.
Guidon, N, Arnaud, B. 1991. The chronology of the New World: two faces of one reality. World Archaeology 23(2):167–8.
Guidon, N, Délibrias, G. 1986. Carbon-14 dates point to man in the Americas 32,000 years ago. Nature 321(6072):769–71.
Holliday, VT. 2009. Geoarchaeology and the search for the first Americans. Catena 78(3):310–22.
Lavallée, D. 2000. The First South Americans. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press. 260 p.
Ludwig, KR, Titterington, DM. 1994. Calculations of 230Th/U isochrons, ages and errors. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 58(22):5031–42.
McCormac, FG, Hogg, AG, Blackwell, PG, Buck, CE, Higham, TFG, Reimer, PJ. 2004. SHCal04 Southern Hemisphere calibration 0–11.0 cal kyr BP. Radiocarbon 46(3):1087–92.
Parenti, F. 2001. Le gisement quaternaire de Pedra Furada (Piaui, Brésil). Stratigraphie, chronologic evolution culturelle. Paris: Editions Recherche sur les Civilisations. 445 p.
Parenti, F, Fontugne, M, Guerin, C. 1996. Pedra Furada in Brazil and its presumed evidence: limitations and potential of the available data. Antiquity 70(268):416–21.
Plagnes, V, Causse, C, Fontugne, M, Valladas, H, Chazine, J-M, Fage, L-H. 2003. Cross dating (Th/U-14C) of calcite covering prehistoric paintings in Borneo. Quaternary Research 60(2):172–9.
Rothhammer, F, Dillehay, TD. 2009. The Late Pleistocene colonization of South America: an interdisciplinary perspective. Annals of Human Genetics 73(5):540–9.
Rowe, MW, Steelman, KL. 2003. Comment on “Some evidence of a date of first humans to arrive in Brazil.” Journal of Archaeological Science 30(10):1349–51.
Santos, GM, Bird, MI, Parenti, F, Fifield, LK, Guidon, N, Hausladen, PA. 2003. A revised chronology of the lowest occupation layer of Pedra Furada Rock Shelter, Piaui, Brazil: the Pleistocene peopling of the Americas. Quaternary Science Reviews 22(21–22): 2303–10.
Sastry, MD, Sullasi, HSL, Camargo, F, Watanabe, S, Prous, APP, Silva, MMC. 2004. Dating sediment deposits on Montalvanian carvings using EPR and TL methods. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research B 213:751–5.
Stuiver, M, Polach, HA. 1977. Discussion: reporting of 14C data. Radiocarbon 19(3):355–63.
Stuiver, M, Reimer, P. 1993. Extended 14C data base and revised CALIB 3.0 14C age calibration program. Radiocarbon 35(1):215–30.
Tisnérat-Laborde, N, Poupeau, JJ, Tannau, JF, Paterne, M. 2001. Development of an automated system for routine preparation of carbonate samples. Radiocarbon 43(2A):299304.
Watanabe, S, Ayta, WEF, Hamaguchi, H, Guidon, N, La Salvia, ES, Maranca, S, Baffa, O. 2003. Some evidence of a date of first humans to arrive in Brazil. Journal of Archaeological Science 30(3):351–4.

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed