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Radiometric dating of the Earlier Stone Age sequence in excavation I at Wonderwerk Cave, South Africa: preliminary results.

Research paper by Michael M Chazan, Hagai H Ron, Ari A Matmon, Naomi N Porat, Paul P Goldberg, Royden R Yates, Margaret M Avery, Alexandra A Sumner, Liora Kolska LK Horwitz

Indexed on: 27 May '08Published on: 27 May '08Published in: Journal of Human Evolution



Abstract

We present here the results of 44 paleomagnetic measurements, and single cosmogenic burial and optically stimulated luminescence ages for the Earlier Stone Age deposits from Wonderwerk Cave, Northern Cape, South Africa. The resulting paleomagnetic sequence: N>R>N>R>N constrains the Earlier Stone Age strata in this part of the site to between approximately 0.78-1.96 Ma. A single cosmogenic date of approximately 2.0 Ma from the base of the section offers some corroboration for the paleomagnetic sequence. Preliminary results indicate that the small lithic assemblage from the basal stratum may contain an Oldowan facies. This is overlain by several strata containing Acheulean industries. The preliminary radiometric dates reported here place the onset of the Acheulean at this site to approximately 1.6 Ma, which is roughly contemporaneous with that of East Africa.