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Moreno D.,French Natural History Museum | Moreno D.,Rovira i Virgili University | Moreno D.,Institute Catala Of Paleoecologia Humana I Evolucio Social | Moreno D.,Centro Nacional sobre la Evolucion Humana CENIEH | And 13 more authors.
Quaternary Geochronology | Year: 2015

Ages based on independent methods, such as combined ESR-U series, luminescence, and magnetostratigraphic analyses have been obtained for the upper stratigraphical section of Gran Dolina site (TD6 to TD11 levels). However, the chronostratigraphical framework of this European Paleolithic key site remains incomplete because of its great antiquity and the lack of reliable methods. This paper provides new radiometric dates by electron spin resonance applied to optically bleached quartz grains for the whole stratigraphic sequence. The results agree with the previous chronostratigraphical framework for the upper part of the stratigraphical sequence. The ages for the Homo antecessor remains from TD6 layer range between 800 and 900ka. The lowest layers attributed to endogenous sediments (TD1) could be contemporaneous with the Sima del Elefante TE9 human bearing layer dated to 1.2 Ma. The results suggest a human occupation of possibly more than 1 Ma at the Gran Dolina site. This study confirms moreover the potential of ESR dating method applied on quartz in karstic environment. © 2015 Elsevier B.V. Source

Voinchet P.,French Natural History Museum | Moreno D.,French Natural History Museum | Moreno D.,Centro Nacional sobre la Evolucion Humana CENIEH | Bahain J.-J.,French Natural History Museum | And 16 more authors.
Journal of Quaternary Science | Year: 2015

Increasing evidence suggests that bifacial technology (Acheulian, Mode 2) arrived in Europe during the early Middle Pleistocene, i.e. significantly earlier than previously proposed. In northern France and Britain, much of the age attribution for these assemblages has been based on biostratigraphy and lithostratigraphy rather than absolute dates. This study presents a systematic application of electron spin resonance (ESR) dating of sedimentary quartz and ESR/U-series dating of fossil tooth enamel to key Acheulian sites of this area. Although the age estimates have large associated uncertainties, most of the derived dates are consistent with existing age estimates. The new chronologies and the problems associated with dating material of early Middle Pleistocene age are discussed. In Britain, the earliest archaeology (cores and flakes, Mode 1) is older than Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 15, whereas localities containing Acheulian technologies span late MIS 15/MIS 13 through to MIS 9. A similar pattern is seen in northern France although age estimates from sites such as la Noira suggest the possible appearance of the Acheulian in central France as early as MIS 17. The dates presented here support the suggestion that the earliest Acheulian appeared in NW Europe during the early Middle Pleistocene, significantly after its appearance in the southern parts of the continent. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Source

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