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Keywords:

  • radiocarbon dating;
  • Middle Palaeolithic;
  • Upper Palaeolithic;
  • Neanderthal;
  • Devensian

Abstract

Recent research at the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit (ORAU) has shown that ultrafiltration of gelatin from archaeological bone can, in many instances, remove low molecular weight contaminants. These can sometimes be of a different radiocarbon age and, unless removed, may severely influence results, particularly when dating bones greater than two to three half-lives of 14C. In this study this methodology is applied to samples of Late Middle and Early Upper Palaeolithic age from the British Isles. In many instances the results of redating invite serious reconsideration of the chronology for these periods. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.