Single-Grain Luminescence Dating of Sediment Surrounding a Possible Late Pleistocene Artifact from the Wenas Creek Mammoth Site, Pacific Northwest, USA
Department or Administrative Unit
Excavations at the Wenas Creek Mammoth Site yielded mammoth, bison, and two possible artifacts in a single colluvial stratum, with radiocarbon bone dates ∼17 ka. Eight infrared-stimulated luminescence (IRSL) samples were collected to establish general ages of site strata, returning multi-grain estimates consistent with stratigraphic integrity and the radiocarbon dates. Four additional IRSL samples were collected to estimate the depositional age of one artifact found in place. These produced a pooled total of 94 single-grain estimates from near the artifact, 80% averaging 16.8 ± 0.9 ka, and 20% averaging 5.1 ± 0.5 ka. These results could be interpreted to demonstrate pre-Clovis age artifact deposition consistent with the bone dates, or a mid to late Holocene intrusion into older deposits, possibly by bioturbation. The single-grain IRSL dates do not provide proof of pre-Clovis presence beyond reasonable doubt at this site, but do show that this technique is valuable in assessing the stratigraphic integrity needed for any such claim.
Lubinski, P.M., Feathers, J. & Lillquist, K. (2014). Single-Grain Luminescence Dating of Sediment Surrounding a Possible Late Pleistocene Artifact from the Wenas Creek Mammoth Site, Pacific Northwest, USA. Geoarchaeology 29(1) 16-32. DOI: 10.1002/gea.21461
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