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《Quaternary Sciences》 1990-03
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COMPARATIVE STUPY OF QUATERNARY FOSSIL BONE DATING

Chen Tiemei (Department of Archaeology, Peking University)  
Fossil bones constitute one important category of dating objects for Quaternary study, because they are frequently found in Quaternary sediments and serve as indicators of relative chronology and palaeoenvironments. Various Quaternary dating techniques have been applied to this kind of material with varying degrees of success. This paper summarizes the current status of bone dating, as welt as our own researchachievement in this field with the purpose of showing the reliability and precision which each dating technique is able to achieve and the influencing factors in dating. The author prefers radiocarbon dating, of amino-acid fraction for younger bones, because contamination with mobile humic acid may sometimes cause the apparent age to appear lower than it actually is. Experiments with a fairly large number of samples definitely showed that U-series ages of fossil bones, if they can be proved to be of closed systems, are close or equal to the radiocarbon ages of the same samples or samples from the same archaeological context. Therefore U-series dating is a promising dating technique for bone samples older than 40 000aB.P. The electron spin resonance (ESR) dating was shown unsuccessful in our experiments with fossil bones and dentine; the ESR ages were consistently too low. The factors accountifig for the failure, were discussed and teeth enamel was suggested as a more reliable candidate for ESR dating. The problems in amino-acid racemization dating of fossil bones were touched on in this paper also. The age of the Late Palaeoiithic Culture of Upper Cave, Zhoukoudian, Beijing is discussed on the basis of newly published bone datingresults with the AMS technique.
【Fund】: 国家自然科学基金
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