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ABA and ABOx Radiocarbon Cross-Dating on Charcoal from Middle Pleniglacial Loess Deposits in Austria, Moravia, and Western Ukraine

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 February 2016

Paul Haesaerts*
Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Brussels, Belgium
Freddy Damblon
Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Brussels, Belgium
Philip Nigst
Department of Human Evolution, Max-Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
Jean-Jacques Hublin
Department of Human Evolution, Max-Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany
2Corresponding author. Email:


Four charcoal samples from loess key sites in Austria, Moravia, and western Ukraine were submitted to ABOx (acid-base oxidation) pretreatment to compare results with the classical ABA (acid-base-acid) method. For this purpose, charcoal samples already dated in Groningen laboratory were selected from 3 archaeological sites: Molodova V in western Ukraine (subunit 10–1, ∼32.6 ka BP), Willendorf II in Austria (unit C4, ∼32.1 ka BP and unit C8, ∼38.9 ka BP) and Vedrovice V in Moravia (unit 4, upper part of Bohunice soil, ∼39.5 ka BP). Each selected charcoal sample has been homogenized and divided into 3 subsamples, which were submitted to ABA in Groningen and to ABA and ABOx pretreatments in Oxford. The results show that the ABOx dates are older than the ABA dates. Nevertheless, down to ∼40 ka BP ABOx and Groningen ABA dates appear in good agreement within a time interval of ∼1 millennium at 1σ. However, Groningen ABA pretreatment produces older dates than the Oxford ABA pretreatment. Both Oxford ABOx and Groningen ABA pretreatments provide sets of dates in good agreement with the chronological background of each selected site.

Copyright © 2013 by the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona 

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