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Second Radiocarbon Intercomparison Program for the Chauvetpont d'Arc Cave, Ardèche, France

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 February 2016

A Quiles
Affiliation:
Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement (LSCE/IPSL) CEA-CNRS-UVSQ (UMR 8212), Avenue de la Terrasse, 91198, Gif-Sur-Yvette, France
H Valladas
Affiliation:
Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement (LSCE/IPSL) CEA-CNRS-UVSQ (UMR 8212), Avenue de la Terrasse, 91198, Gif-Sur-Yvette, France
J-M Geneste
Affiliation:
Centre National de la Préhistoire, Ministère de la culture et de la communication, UMR 5199 CNRS, 38 rue du 26e R.I., 24000 Périgueux, France
J Clottes
Affiliation:
11 rue du Fourcat, 09000 Foix, France
D Baffler
Affiliation:
DRAC de Rhône-Alpes, Ministère de la culture et de la communication, CREPS, 07150 Vallon Pont d'Arc, France
B Berthier
Affiliation:
Laboratoire de Mesure du Carbone 14, CEA-CNRS-IRD-IRSN-Ministère de la culture et de la communication, bat 450 porte 4E, 91191 Gif-Sur-Yvette, France
F Brock
Affiliation:
Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, Research Laboratory for Archaeology, University of Oxford, Dyson Perrins Building, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3QY, United Kingdom
C Bronk Ramsey
Affiliation:
Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, Research Laboratory for Archaeology, University of Oxford, Dyson Perrins Building, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3QY, United Kingdom
E Delqué-Količ
Affiliation:
Laboratoire de Mesure du Carbone 14, CEA-CNRS-IRD-IRSN-Ministère de la culture et de la communication, bat 450 porte 4E, 91191 Gif-Sur-Yvette, France
J-P Dumoulin
Affiliation:
Laboratoire de Mesure du Carbone 14, CEA-CNRS-IRD-IRSN-Ministère de la culture et de la communication, bat 450 porte 4E, 91191 Gif-Sur-Yvette, France
I Hajdas
Affiliation:
Laboratory of Ion Beam Physics, ETH Zürich, Otto-Stern-Weg 5, 8093 Zurich, Switzerland
K Hippe
Affiliation:
Laboratory of Ion Beam Physics, ETH Zürich, Otto-Stern-Weg 5, 8093 Zurich, Switzerland
G W L Hodgins
Affiliation:
NSF Arizona AMS Laboratory, University of Arizona, Physics Building, 1118 East Fourth St., Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
A Hogg
Affiliation:
Radiocarbon Dating Laboratory, University of Waikato, Gate 9, Hillcrest Road, Hamilton 3240, New Zealand
A J T Jull
Affiliation:
NSF Arizona AMS Laboratory, University of Arizona, Physics Building, 1118 East Fourth St., Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
E Kaltnecker
Affiliation:
Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement (LSCE/IPSL) CEA-CNRS-UVSQ (UMR 8212), Avenue de la Terrasse, 91198, Gif-Sur-Yvette, France
M De Martino
Affiliation:
NSF Arizona AMS Laboratory, University of Arizona, Physics Building, 1118 East Fourth St., Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
C Oberlin
Affiliation:
Centre de datation par le carbone 14, UMR 5138 CNRS, Univ. Claude Bernard Lyon 1, 40 Boulevard Niels Bohr, 69622 Villeurbanne Cedex, France
F Petchey
Affiliation:
Radiocarbon Dating Laboratory, University of Waikato, Gate 9, Hillcrest Road, Hamilton 3240, New Zealand
P Steier
Affiliation:
Faculty of Physics, Isotope Research and Nuclear Physics, VERA-Laboratory, University of Vienna, Waehringer Str. 17, 1090 Vienna, Austria
H-A Synal
Affiliation:
Laboratory of Ion Beam Physics, ETH Zürich, Otto-Stern-Weg 5, 8093 Zurich, Switzerland
J van der Plicht
Affiliation:
Center for Isotope Research, Groningen University, Nijenborgh 4, 9747 AG Groningen, the Netherlands; and Faculty of Archaeology, Leiden University, P. O. Box 9515, 2300 RA Leiden, the Netherlands
E M Wild
Affiliation:
Faculty of Physics, Isotope Research and Nuclear Physics, VERA-Laboratory, University of Vienna, Waehringer Str. 17, 1090 Vienna, Austria
A Zazzo
Affiliation:
CNRS - Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle UMR 7209 “Archéozoologie, Archéobotanique: Sociétés, Pratiques et Environnements” USM 303 - Département écologie et Gestion de la Biodiversité, Case postale 56 (bâtiment d'anatomie comparée), 55, rue Buffon, 75231 Paris Cedex 05, France

Abstract

The Chauvet-Pont d'Arc Cave is one of the most important sites for the study of the earliest manifestations and development of prehistoric art at the beginning of the Upper Paleolithic. Different dating techniques have been performed thus far (AMS 14C, U/Th TIMS, 36Cl dating) to model the chronological framework of this decorated cave. The cave yielded several large charcoal fragments, which enabled the opportunity for obtaining multiple dates; thus, a First Radiocarbon Intercomparison Program (FIP) was initiated in 2004 using three charcoal pieces. The FIP demonstrated that those cross-dated samples belonged to a time period associated with the first human occupation. One of the statistical interests of an intercomparison program is to reduce the uncertainty on the sample age; thus, to further assess the accuracy of the chronological framework, the Second Intercomparison Program (SIP) involving 10 international 14C laboratories was carried out on two pieces of charcoal found inside two hearth structures of the Galerie des Mégacéros. Each laboratory used its own pretreatment and AMS facilities. In total, 21 and 22 measurements were performed, respectively, which yielded consistent results averaging ∼32 ka BP. Two strategies have currently been developed to identify statistical outliers and to deal with them; both lead to quasi-identical calibrated combined densities. Finally, the new results were compared with those of the FIP, leading to the important conclusion that five different samples from at least three different hearth structures give really tightened temporal densities, associated with one short human occupation in the Galerie des Mégacéros.

Type
Statistics and Modeling
Copyright
Copyright © 2014 by the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona 

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