THE USE OF MARINE SHELLS FOR RADIOCARBON DATING OF COASTAL DEPOSITS

FRANCISCO HILÁRIO REGO BEZERRA, CLAUDIO VITA-FINZI, FRANCISCO PINHEIRO LIMA FILHO

Resumo


To facilitate the selection of samples for 14C dating, shells from coastal deposits were analyzed by light microscopy, X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, and isotope analysis. One or more of these techniques made it possible to detect contamination by old and young carbon and to identify appropriate pretreatment procedures. Microscopic inspection and X-ray analysis are especially useful when applied to aragonitic mollusks as contamination is often calcitic and thus readily detected. Death assemblages, when correctly selected, provide reliable ages for coastal deposits, but in certain circumstances dates determined on these assemblages were found to be superior to dates for tracing shorelines.

Palavras-chave


Coastal deposit; Radiocarbon dating; Marine shell; Contamination; Death assemblage.

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