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Cross-Dating (Th/U-14C) of Calcite Covering Prehistoric Paintings at Serra da Capivara National Park, Piaui, Brazil

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 February 2016

Michel Fontugne*
Affiliation:
Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement (UMR8212 CNRS/CEA/UVSQ), Domaine du CNRS, 91198 Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex, France
Qingfeng Shao
Affiliation:
Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement (UMR8212 CNRS/CEA/UVSQ), Domaine du CNRS, 91198 Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex, France College of Geography Science, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210046, China
Norbert Frank
Affiliation:
Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement (UMR8212 CNRS/CEA/UVSQ), Domaine du CNRS, 91198 Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex, France
François Thil
Affiliation:
Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement (UMR8212 CNRS/CEA/UVSQ), Domaine du CNRS, 91198 Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex, France
Niède Guidon
Affiliation:
Fundação Museu do Homem Americano (FUMDHAM), Centro Cultural S. Motta 64770, Sao Raimondo Nonato, PI, Brazil
Eric Boeda
Affiliation:
AnTET CNRS UMR7041 Maison Archéologie et Ethnologie Université Paris X, 21 avenue de l'Université, 92023, Nanterre Cedex, France
*
2Corresponding author. Email: Michel.Fontugne@lsce.ipsl.fr.

Abstract

The question of when the first humans arrived in the New World has been a bone of contention for several decades. Similarly, the age of rock paintings has been heatedly debated. Settlements in the Serra da Capivara National Park have been dated to between 5 kyr and >50 kyr, which is far older than the Clovis barrier. Moreover, calcite formation on a rock-wall painting in a rockshelter yielded thermoluminescence (TL) and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) ages older than 35 kyr BP (Watanabe et al. 2003). In an attempt to contribute to this ongoing debate, we have studied calcite deposits covering prehistoric paintings from several rockshelters (Toca da Bastiana, Toca do Serrote de Moendas, and Toca da Gameleirinha [Pedra pintada]). Coupled AMS (accelerator mass spectrometry) 14C and MC-ICPMS (multi-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry) 230Th/U dating was performed in Toca da Gameleirinha. The ages obtained for these cal-cites are younger than 12 kyr and suggest that the paintings could be more recent than proposed by previous studies.

Type
Archaeology of the Americas and Oceania
Copyright
Copyright © 2013 by the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona 

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Cross-Dating (Th/U-14C) of Calcite Covering Prehistoric Paintings at Serra da Capivara National Park, Piaui, Brazil
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