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Radiocarbon Dating at the Gault Site – A Case Study in Collaboration Between AMS and ZooMS to Analyze Promising Faunal Samples

Author(s): Robert Lassen ; Erin Keenan Early

Year: 2017

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Summary

The Gault site is a lithic procurement site and campsite in Central Texas with components ranging from earlier than Clovis to the Late Prehistoric. For the most part, absolute dating at Gault has relied on optically stimulated luminescence (OSL), which has a high standard error. AMS dating on sparse charcoal samples has been conducted as well, but with mixed results. In particular, the charcoal from the Clovis and lower strata failed to yield viable radiocarbon dates. While faunal preservation tends to be poor, the degree of preservation varies from sample to sample. Recent research by Harvey et al. (2016) indicates that ZooMS (zooarchaeology by mass spectrometry) can be used to screen bones for suitability for radiocarbon dating. By considering a combination of m/z range and minimum number of peaks, the peptide mass fingerprinting technique is purported to determine whether collagen preservation is sufficient for AMS dating. This project therefore seeks to assess the viability of this new screening methodology in different taphonomic conditions than those of Harvey et al., with the ultimate hope of gaining valuable collagen-based dates for the earliest components of the Gault site.


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Radiocarbon Dating at the Gault Site – A Case Study in Collaboration Between AMS and ZooMS to Analyze Promising Faunal Samples. Robert Lassen, Erin Keenan Early. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429270)


Keywords

Geographic Keywords
North America - Plains


Spatial Coverage

min long: -113.95; min lat: 30.751 ; max long: -97.163; max lat: 48.865 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 14923

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