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Pinnacle Point 5-6 and Diepkloof Rockshelter (South Africa): Testing the OSL ages and constructing a standardised MSA chronology

Author(s): Zenobia Jacobs

Year: 2015

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Single grain optically stimulated luminescence (SG-OSL) dating has made a major contribution to our understanding of the chronology of the Middle Stone Age of Africa. The accuracy of many of the SG-OSL chronologies has been verified by other independent dating techniques. Diepkloof Rockshelter (DRS), however, has produced disparate chronologies that have resulted in a dating controversy. Criticisms raised have been used to cast doubt on and, in some cases, dismiss the chronology for the Howiesons Poort (HP) and Still Bay (SB) presented in Jacobs et al. (Science 322, 733–735, 2008). As a result, an alternative age model and interpretation of the ages, durations and relationship between the HP and SB techno-complexes has been proposed. In the process of doing so, the published ages for Pinnacle Point Site 5-6 (PP5-6) have also been questioned. In this presentation, I will demonstrate why the SG-OSL chronology of DRS is robust by directly addressing the concerns raised and by presenting new data. I will also present a complete chronology for the PP5-6 sedimentary deposits. These two new data sets will then be used to assess the merits of the two divergent age models for the HP and SB in southern Africa.

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Pinnacle Point 5-6 and Diepkloof Rockshelter (South Africa): Testing the OSL ages and constructing a standardised MSA chronology. Zenobia Jacobs. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396800)


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min long: -18.809; min lat: -38.823 ; max long: 53.262; max lat: 38.823 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America