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Rodríguez-Gómez, Guillermo Palmqvist, Paul Rodríguez, Jesús Mateos, Ana Martín-González, Jesús A. Espigares, M. Patrocinio Ros-Montoya, Sergio and Martínez-Navarro, Bienvenido 2016. On the ecological context of the earliest human settlements in Europe: Resource availability and competition intensity in the carnivore guild of Barranco León-D and Fuente Nueva-3 (Orce, Baza Basin, SE Spain). Quaternary Science Reviews, Vol. 143, p. 69.
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Lozano-Fernández, Iván Blain, Hugues-Alexandre López-García, Juan Manuel and Agustí, Jordi 2015. Biochronology of the first hominid remains in Europe using the voleMimomys savini: Fuente Nueva 3 and Barranco León D, Guadix-Baza Basin, south-eastern Spain. Historical Biology, Vol. 27, Issue. 8, p. 1021.
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Medin, Tsegai Martínez-Navarro, Bienvenido Rivals, Florent Madurell-Malapeira, Joan Ros-Montoya, Sergio Espigares, María-Patrocinio Figueirido, Borja Rook, Lorenzo and Palmqvist, Paul 2015. Late Villafranchian Ursus etruscus and other large carnivorans from the Orce sites (Guadix-Baza basin, Andalusia, southern Spain): Taxonomy, biochronology, paleobiology, and ecogeographical context. Quaternary International,
The combined U-series/electron spin resonance (ESR) dating method was applied to nine teeth from two Early Pleistocene archaeological sites located in the Orce area (Guadix-Baza Basin, Southern Spain): Fuente Nueva-3 (FN-3) and Barranco León (BL). The combination of biostratigraphy and magnetostratigraphy places both sites between the Olduvai and Jaramillo subchrons (1.78–1.07 Ma).
Our results highlight the difficulty of dating such old sites and point out the limits of the combined U-series/ESR dating method based on the US model. We identified several sources of uncertainties that may lead to inaccurate age estimates. Seven samples could not be dated because the dental tissues had (230Th/234U) activity ratios higher than equilibrium, indicating that uranium had probably leached from these tissues. It was however possible to calculate numerical estimates for two of the teeth, both from FN-3. One yielded a Middle Pleistocene age that seems to be strongly underestimated; the other provided an age of 1.19 ± 0.21 Ma, in agreement with data obtained from independent methods. The latter result gives encouragement that there are samples that can be used for routine dating of old sites.
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