Ams dating rock art
In a study published in the international journal Antiquity, Professor David Pearce, Director of the Rock Art Research Institute at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, Adelphine Bonneau of Laval University, and colleagues at the University of Oxford showed that paintings in south-eastern Botswana are at least 5500 years old, whilst paintings in Lesotho and the Eastern Cape Drakensberg, South Africa, date as far back as 3000 years."This is astonishing," says Pearce, "people returned to the same rock shelters over very long periods of time to make rock paintings very similar to those made centuries or millennia before.A complete motif located on the ceiling of a rockshelter returned a minimum age estimate of 16 ± 1 ka.Further, our results demonstrate the inherent problems in relying solely on stylistic classifications to order rock art assemblages into temporal sequences.Consequently, AMS dating is invaluable to a wide range of disciplines including archaeology, art history, and environmental and biological sciences.and graphitisation lines in 2010 has enabled us to quadruple our throughput and reduce our turnaround time for AMS (now averaging 6 weeks), while maintaining our quality control, improving our background limits and reducing sample size requirements.This finding has profound implications for our understanding of hunter-gatherer religion in southern Africa.Research was conducted in the Thune Dam in Botswana, the Metolong Dam area in the Phuthiatsana Valley of Lesotho, and the Drakensberg Escarpment of the Eastern Cape in the ‘Nomansland’ region of South Africa.
Pressed graphite is sent to the Keck Radiocarbon Dating Laboratory at the University of California, Irvine and the Center for Applied Isotope Studies, University of Georgia for analysis.
Nyerup's words illustrate poignantly the critical power and importance of dating; to order time.
Radiocarbon dating has been one of the most significant discoveries in 20th century science.
However, the dating of rock art itself remains the greatest obstacle to be addressed if the significance of Australian assemblages are to be recognised on the world stage.
A recent archaeological project in the northwest Kimberley trialled three dating techniques in order to establish chronological markers for the proposed, regional, relative stylistic sequence.
In Nyerup's time, archaeologists could date the past only by using recorded histories, which in Europe were based mainly on the Egyptian calendar.