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Dating bones near the limit of the radiocarbon dating method: study case mammoth from Niederweningen, ZH Switzerland


Hajdas, I; Michczynski, A; Bonani, G; Wacker, L; Furrer, H (2009). Dating bones near the limit of the radiocarbon dating method: study case mammoth from Niederweningen, ZH Switzerland. Radiocarbon, 51(2):675-680.

Abstract

Preparation of bone material for radiocarbon dating is still a subject of investigation. In the past, the most problematic ages appeared to be the very old bones, i.e. those with ages close to the limit of the dating method. Development of preparative methods requires sufficient amounts of bone material as well as the possibility of verification of the ages. In the peat section at Niederweningen, ZH Switzerland, numerous bones of mammoth and other animals were found in the late 19th century. The first accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon ages of those bones from 1890/1891 excavations placed the age between 33,000 and 35,000 BP. The excavations in 2003/2004 provided additional material for 14C dating. An age of 45,870 ± 1080 BP was obtained on base (NaOH step) cleaned gelatin from mammoth bone, which was very close to the age of 45,430 ± 1020 BP obtained for the peat layer that buried the mammoths. The 14C age of gelatin cleaned using the ultrafiltration method obtained in this study, 45,720 ± 710 BP, is in a very good agreement with the previously obtained results. Moreover, the study shows that 3 pretreatment methods (base+Longin, Longin+ultrafiltration, and base+Longin+ultrafiltration) give ages consistent with each other and with the age of the peat section.

Abstract

Preparation of bone material for radiocarbon dating is still a subject of investigation. In the past, the most problematic ages appeared to be the very old bones, i.e. those with ages close to the limit of the dating method. Development of preparative methods requires sufficient amounts of bone material as well as the possibility of verification of the ages. In the peat section at Niederweningen, ZH Switzerland, numerous bones of mammoth and other animals were found in the late 19th century. The first accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon ages of those bones from 1890/1891 excavations placed the age between 33,000 and 35,000 BP. The excavations in 2003/2004 provided additional material for 14C dating. An age of 45,870 ± 1080 BP was obtained on base (NaOH step) cleaned gelatin from mammoth bone, which was very close to the age of 45,430 ± 1020 BP obtained for the peat layer that buried the mammoths. The 14C age of gelatin cleaned using the ultrafiltration method obtained in this study, 45,720 ± 710 BP, is in a very good agreement with the previously obtained results. Moreover, the study shows that 3 pretreatment methods (base+Longin, Longin+ultrafiltration, and base+Longin+ultrafiltration) give ages consistent with each other and with the age of the peat section.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Paleontological Institute and Museum
Dewey Decimal Classification:560 Fossils & prehistoric life
Language:English
Date:2009
Deposited On:23 Feb 2010 08:20
Last Modified:07 Dec 2017 01:28
Publisher:Dept. of Geosciences, University of Arizona
ISSN:0033-8222
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1017/S0033822200056010
Official URL:https://www.uair.arizona.edu/restrictedobjectviewer?o=http://radiocarbon.library.arizona.edu/Volume51/Number2/66c31102-5f7b-496c-8fa7-60c218b5d904

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