GSA Connects 2021 in Portland, Oregon

Paper No. 54-2
Presentation Time: 2:30 PM-6:30 PM


BLACKWELL, Bonnie1, CHEN, Alvin2, CHEN, Olivia R.L.2, D'COSTA, Katelyn A.2, FAIJA, Mehrin U.2, MIHAILOVIĆ, Dušan3, PLAVŠIĆ, Senka3, ROKSANDIC, Mirjana4, DIMITRIJEVIĆ, Vesna3, D'COSTA, Jonathan N.2, DAKOVIC, Gligor2, SINGH, Impreet K.C.2, LI, Raymond2, ASHKENAS, Samuel G.2, YOON, Dylan Y.2 and TAN, Rebecca S.2, (1)RFK Science Research Institute, Box 866, Glenwood Landing, NY 11547-0866; Department of Chemistry, Williams College, Williamstown, MA 01267, (2)RFK Science Research Institute, Box 866, Glenwood Landing, NY 11547-0866, (3)Department of Archaeology, Faculty of Philosophy, Belgrade University, Čika Ljubina 18-20, Belgrade, 11000, Serbia, (4)Dept. of Anthropology, Uniiversity of Winnipeg, Winnipeg, MB R3B 2E9, Canada

Overlooking the Sićevo Gorge, the Balanica cave complex lies ~ 15 km east of Niš, Serbia at ~ 335 m amsl. Both Mala Balanica (MB) and Velika Balanica (VB) yielded Middle Pleistocene mammal fossils, Middle and Lower Paleolithic artefacts. VB served as a permanent habitation, especially in Layers 2-3, where lithic artefacts, hearths, and charcoal particles have occurred, but MB likely hosted visits from smaller groups. MB's Layer 3b yielded a Homo heidelburgensis mandible. Both caves have matrix-supported conglomerates, where sandy, clayey silts with éboulis up to 1.5-2.0 m3 in some layers. In VB, reddish silty clay and éboulis in Layers 2a-2c overlie the brown, clayey silts and silty sands forming Layers 3a-3c, that include hearths. In VB, Layer 4c's several four collapsed stalagmitic flowstone floor reflect subsidence before MIS 11, while éboulis that show diagenetic alteration, weathering, root-etching, and post-dispositional carbonate rims, and lens with secondary carbonate cements that solidify them. Most of VB's layers sitting stratigraphically above the MB's deposits. Two from Layers 2c-3a in MB and 21 teeth from Layers 2a-4c4 in VB have been by ESR standard and isochron analyses. After > 80 associated sediment samples were measured by NAA, the time- and volumetrically averaged sediment dose rates in the caves were calculated using a 3D multi-component model using éboulis and cobble sizes and positions as mapped around each tooth from the total station, photographic, and excavation data. U concentrations in the enamel ranged from 1.0 to 9.1 ppm, while dentines ranged from 38 to 95 ppm, making it essential to understand the U uptake rates by doing isochron and coupled ESR-430Th/234U analyses to improve the ages' accuracy. Isochron analyses suggest that secondary U remobilization has occurred in at least one teeth. Ages for both caves show the Balanica caves complex continued to receive sediment for > 400 ky from the early Middle to later Pleistocene.
  • Poster Balanica (1).pdf (4.0 MB)