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Smuggler's Cave

The site has been dated by a number of 14C determinations as well as a couple of U-Th dates. The U-Th dates were obtained from the same shells that were submitted to 14C dating. The table shows that these two methods yielded widely different results.

The U-Th dates are considered to represent the formation of the cave walls just prior to OIS 5e. However, why the 14C results are so young is not explained (Delibrias et al 1982). Even if we just take the results obtained on bone, the results for Contrebandiers cave are inconsistent. It is clear, then, that the site needs to be re-dated using a number of complementary methods (table 1).

Some of the very young dates might be the result of intermixture of faunal remains from overlaying Iberomaurusian layers in the underlaying Aterian ones (Delibrias and Roch 1976). It was observed that most bones in the Aterian layers were covered with some sort of carbonate. This covering was missing on some of the bones that were submitted for dating. It are precisely those bones that are now thought to derive from overlaying layers (Delibrias and Roche 1976).

content provided by Utsav Schurmans from the Rapport D'Operations Pour l'Année 2006


The Upper Paleolithic ->

History of Excavation The Stratigraphy DatesThe Neolithic Upper Paleolithic Middle Paleolithic Fauna Hominids