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Marine Reservoir Effect Values from Shell-Middens of San Matías Gulf, Northern Patagonia (Argentina): A 5000-yr Record

  • Cristián M Favier Dubois (a1) and A J Timothy Jull (a2) (a3)

Ten marine reservoir effect (R) values were obtained from archaeological shell-middens along the San Matías Gulf, North Patagonian Atlantic coast, Argentina. They were determined by accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) measurements on marine shell (Mytilidae) and charcoal samples (burned, short-lived plants) derived from a common stratigraphic unit. The R values fluctuate between 205±48 and 358±56 14C yr BP from ca. 5300 to ca. 700 14C yr BP with no obvious temporal trend. Calculated ΔR values fluctuate between +30±66 and –162±48 yr during the same time span. Local factors such as restricted connection with the open sea or presence of aged carbonates do not appear to have had an influence on this effect along the gulf coastline. The mean R value obtained (266 ± 51 yr) constitutes a useful value for correcting ages in shells from abundant archaeological deposits recorded in the area since Middle Holocene times.

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