Title

Comparative Analysis of Radiometric Dating Techniques: The Sunrise Borrow Pit Site

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC Ballroom C/D

Start Date

15-5-2014

End Date

15-5-2014

Keywords

archaeology, thermoluminescence, anthropolgy

Abstract

In the summer of 2013, I excavated an archaeological feature at the Sunrise Borrow Pit site (45PI408) on the slopes of Mt. Rainier. Features are studied by archaeologists for evidence of resource intensification or an increased rate of resource extraction. The feature I excavated contained fire-modified rock, remains of stone tools, and burned bone. This research describes the thermoluminescence dating of the fire-modified rock to ascertain the last time the feature was heated to 500°C. The feature was located next to a stratigraphically older feature that could be the oldest yet known feature of its kind. I have analyzed thermoluminescence dates of other fire-modified rock features as well as radiocarbon dates of burned bone from the same features to determine if they are contemporaneous or of different ages. This research will help provide a more resolved chronology of upland land-use patterns for the southern Washington Cascades. In conjunction with this research, an analysis of the feature contents have been recorded which when analyzed in accordance with their corresponding thermoluminescence and radiocarbon ages will provide documentation for the earliest evidence of prehistoric resource intensification if the two adjacent features differ in age. However, if the thermoluminescence and radiocarbon ages are similar then it can be ascertained that the features can be considered as one of the most complex features recorded in upland settings in the southern Washington Cascade Mountains.

Poster Number

43

Faculty Mentor(s)

McCutcheon, Patrick

Additional Mentoring Department

Anthropology and Museum Studies

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May 15th, 11:30 AM May 15th, 2:00 PM

Comparative Analysis of Radiometric Dating Techniques: The Sunrise Borrow Pit Site

SURC Ballroom C/D

In the summer of 2013, I excavated an archaeological feature at the Sunrise Borrow Pit site (45PI408) on the slopes of Mt. Rainier. Features are studied by archaeologists for evidence of resource intensification or an increased rate of resource extraction. The feature I excavated contained fire-modified rock, remains of stone tools, and burned bone. This research describes the thermoluminescence dating of the fire-modified rock to ascertain the last time the feature was heated to 500°C. The feature was located next to a stratigraphically older feature that could be the oldest yet known feature of its kind. I have analyzed thermoluminescence dates of other fire-modified rock features as well as radiocarbon dates of burned bone from the same features to determine if they are contemporaneous or of different ages. This research will help provide a more resolved chronology of upland land-use patterns for the southern Washington Cascades. In conjunction with this research, an analysis of the feature contents have been recorded which when analyzed in accordance with their corresponding thermoluminescence and radiocarbon ages will provide documentation for the earliest evidence of prehistoric resource intensification if the two adjacent features differ in age. However, if the thermoluminescence and radiocarbon ages are similar then it can be ascertained that the features can be considered as one of the most complex features recorded in upland settings in the southern Washington Cascade Mountains.