Radiocarbon dates for the Late Middle Palaeolithic at Pech de l'Azé IV, France
This paper reports a series of radiocarbon dates on bone samples coming from the Mousterian of Acheulian Tradition (MTA) Layer 3 at the top of the Pech de l'Azé IV (Pech IV, France) Middle Palaeolithic sequence. All of these samples showed evidence of human impact, and they were prepared using current pre-treatment techniques to remove or identify contamination. The results indicate that the MTA at Pech IV started prior to the current limit of radiocarbon calibration (circa 50 ka BP) and ended by 45 ka cal. BP. These dates are supported by additional TL and ESR dates from the sequence, confirm previously suggested correlations between Pech I and IV, and generally fit within the known age range for the MTA. The oldest dates reported here may also lend support to still older TL dates for the MTA that taken together suggest that the MTA extended from late MIS 4 or early OIS 3 through to the end of the Middle Palaeolithic in southwest France.
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