2015 GSA Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, USA (1-4 November 2015)

Paper No. 312-1
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:30 PM


BLACKWELL, Bonnie A.B.1, PERSAUD, Yasmeen A.1, CHAITY, Iffath I.C.1, MIHAILOVIĆ, Dusan2, ROKSANDIC, Mirjana3, DIMITRIJEVIĆ, Vesna2, FLORENTIN, Jonathan A.4, YANG, George Q.1, BLICKSTEIN, Joel I.B.5 and SKINNER, Anne R.6, (1)RFK Science Research Institute, Glenwood Landing, NY 11547-0866, (2)Department of Archaeology, Belgrade University, Cika Ljubina 18-20, Belgarde, 11000, Serbia, (3)Department of Anthropology, University of Winnipeg, Winnepeg, MB R3B 2E9, Canada, (4)Dept. of Chemistry, Williams College, Williamstown, MA 01267-2692, (5)RFK Science Research Institute, Box 866, Glenwood Landing, NY 11547-0866, (6)Department of Chemistry, Williams College, Williamstown, MA 01267-2692, yazzyalia@gmail.com

The Mousterian site at Pešturina overlooks a tributary to the Nišava River southwest of Niš, in southern Serbia. In all three sedimentological layers, the large mammalian faunae suggest a mixed environment with temperate forest, rocky cliffs, and steppe within walking distance from the cave. Although hyenas likely contributed some bone to the site, especially in Layer 3, the fragmentation patterns and butchering marks plus the many lithic tools suggest that some faunal remains were human kills. A depositional hiatus occurred between Layers 4 and 3. Until 2014, 42 enamel subsamples from 10 ungulate teeth had been independently dated from the Mousterian layers with standard ESR. With U in the enamel < 0.1 ppm, and dentinal U averaging 1.0-3.5 ppm, the ages do not depend on the U uptake model assumed for the age calculation. To assess the external dose rates, bulk sediment samples and individual mineralogically distinct components were analyzed by NAA, then averaged using a four-component dose averaging model. Volumetrically averaged sedimentary dose rates and time-averaged cosmic dose rates were calculated. At least two reworked teeth, however, were identified after standard ESR dating. When reworked, a tooth's external dose rate will not be calculated accurately, because its original location is not known. Similarly, its age will show less accuracy. When plotting the initial peak signal heights vs. their accumulated doses for the 42 teeth showed that teeth were likely to be reworked could be identified. To test if this technique proved valuable, such a graph was created by ensuring that all 42 subsample's spectra were calibrated to the same enamel grain size, sample mass, spectrometer gain and other machine parameters. Initial analyses suggest that this technique better identifies subsamples that have problems with their accumulated dose analyses.