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Dating Palaeolithic cave art : why U-Th is the way to go.

Pike, A. and Hoffmann, D. and Pettitt, P. and García-Diez, M. and Zilhão, J. (2016) 'Dating Palaeolithic cave art : why U-Th is the way to go.', Quaternary international., 432 (B). pp. 41-49.


The chronology of European Upper Palaeolithic cave art is poorly known. Three chronometric techniques are commonly applicable: AMS 14C, TL and U–Th, and in recent years the efficacy of each has been the subject of considerable debate. We review here the use of the U–Th technique to date the formation of calcites that can be shown to have stratigraphic relationships to cave art. We focus particularly on two recent critiques of the method. By using specific examples from our own work using this method in Spain, we demonstrate how these critiques are highly flawed and hence misleading, and we argue that the U–Th dating of calcites is currently the most reliable of available chronometric techniques for dating cave art.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.
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Publisher statement:© 2016 This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:08 August 2017
Date of first online publication:09 February 2016
Date first made open access:08 August 2017

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