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Radiocarbon dating of the Middle Paleolithic animal bones from two caves, Croatia

Krajcar Bronić, Ines; Karavanić, Ivor; Sironić, Andreja; Vukosavljević, Nikola; Banda, Marko; Smith, Fred (2021) Radiocarbon dating of the Middle Paleolithic animal bones from two caves, Croatia. In: Miloglav, Ina, (ed.) Book of Abstracts, 9th International Scientific Conference Methodology and Archaeometry, MetArh. Zagreb, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences of the University of Zagreb, p. 42 .

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The aim of the project „Last Neandertals at the Crossroads of Central Europe and the Mediterranean – NECEM“ (financed by Croatian Science Foundation, HRZZ-IP-2019-04-6649) is to gain new data on the adaptations of late Neandertals in today’s Croatia by interdisciplinary methods. Radiocarbon dating method gives a chronological framework providing the samples are not older than about 50000 years. A total of 16 bone samples from two caves, Vindija (Donja Voća, NW Croatia) and Mujina Pećina cave (Plano, near Kaštela, Dalmatia), were selected for radiocarbon AMS dating at the Ruđer Bošković Institute (RBI) laboratory. Collagen extraction yielded >1% of collagen for 10 samples. From six samples the collagen yield was lower than 0.5 % and those bones could have not been dated since the low yield (<1%) may produce an underestimated radiocarbon age. For comparison, 12 bone samples were sent to Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit (ORAU) for radiocarbon dating with an additional step of ultrafiltration (UF) to select collagen fraction having molecules larger than 30 kDa. Four of them could not have been dated due to low collagen yield (<1 ‰), five were dated in spite of low yield, and only three of them were successfully dated. The results of delta13C values of bone samples showed the same range in both RBI and ORAU laboratories, between -18.3 ‰ and -21.8 ‰, which are typical values for bone collagen. Radiocarbon conventional ages of these limited number of bone samples were comparable. Much more radiocarbon dating results of the old bones are necessary to obtain more reliable results. The preliminary results presented here point to the possible obstacles in radiocarbon dating of late Middle Paleolithic samples: bones are not well preserved, yield of collagen is often low, and the age is close to the limit of the radiocarbon method.

Item Type: Conference or workshop item published in conference proceedings (UNSPECIFIED)
Uncontrolled Keywords: radiocarbon dating; bones; Vindija; Mujina pećina; NECEM
Subjects: NATURAL SCIENCES > Interdisciplinary Natural Sciences
Divisions: Division of Experimental Physics
Project titleProject leaderProject codeProject type
Posljednji neandertalci na razmeđu srednje Europe i MediteranaKaravanić, IvorIP-2019-04-6649HRZZ
Depositing User: Ines Krajcar Bronić
Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2021 15:04

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