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Revised Direct Radiocarbon Dating of the Vindija G₁ Upper Paleolithic Neandertals

Tom Higham, Christopher Bronk Ramsey, Ivor Karavanić, Fred H. Smith and Erik Trinkaus
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Vol. 103, No. 3 (Jan. 17, 2006), pp. 553-557
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30049034
Page Count: 5
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Revised Direct Radiocarbon Dating of the Vindija G₁ Upper Paleolithic Neandertals
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Abstract

The 1998/1999 direct dating of two Neandertal specimens from level G¹ of Vindija Cave in Croatia to ≈28,000 and ≈29,000 radiocarbon ($^{14}C$) years ago has led to interpretations concerning the late survival of Neandertals in south-central Europe, patterns of interaction between Neandertals and in-dispersing early modern humans in Europe, and complex biocultural scenarios for the earlier phases of the Upper Paleolithic. Given improvements, particularly in sample pretreatment techniques for bone radiocarbon samples, especially ultrafiltration of collagen samples, these Vindija G₁ Neandertal fossils are redated to ≈32,000-33,000 $^{14}C$ years ago and possibly earlier. These results and the recent redating of a number of purportedly old modern human skeletal remains in Europe to younger time periods highlight the importance of fine chronological control when studying this biocultural time period and the tenuous nature of monolithic scenarios for the establishment of modern humans and earlier phases of the Upper Paleolithic in Europe.

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