Confirmation of a late middle Pleistocene age for the Omo Kibish 1 cranium by direct uranium-series dating


Aubert, M., Pike, A.W.G., Stringer, C., Bartsiokas, A., Eggins, S., Day, M. and Grun, R. (2012) Confirmation of a late middle Pleistocene age for the Omo Kibish 1 cranium by direct uranium-series dating. Journal of Human Evolution, 63, (5), 704-710. (doi:10.1016/j.jhevol.2012.07.006).

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Description/Abstract

While it is generally accepted that modern humans evolved in Africa, the specific physical evidence for that origin remains disputed. The modern-looking Omo 1 skeleton, discovered in the Kibish region of Ethiopia in 1967, was controversially dated at ∼130 ka (thousands of years ago) by U-series dating on associated Mollusca, and it was not until 2005 that Ar–Ar dating on associated feldspar crystals in pumice clasts provided evidence for an even older age of ∼195 ka. However, questions continue to be raised about the age and stratigraphic position of this crucial fossil specimen. Here we present direct U-series determinations on the Omo 1 cranium. In spite of significant methodological complications, which are discussed in detail, the results indicate that the human remains do not belong to a later intrusive burial and are the earliest representative of anatomically modern humans. Given the more archaic morphology shown by the apparently contemporaneous Omo 2 calvaria, we suggest that direct U-series dating is applied to this fossil as well, to confirm its age in relation to Omo 1.

Item Type: Article
ISSNs: 0047-2484 (print)
1095-8606 (electronic)
Related URLs:
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities > Archaeology
ePrint ID: 343242
Date Deposited: 02 Oct 2012 13:46
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2014 20:25
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/343242

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