Geological setting and age of Australopithecus sediba from Southern Africa

Dirks, Paul H.G.M., Kibii, Job M., Kuhn, Brian F., Steininger, Christine, Churchill, Steven E., Kramers, Jan D., Pickering, Robyn, Farber, Daniel L., Mériaux, Anne-Sophie, Herries, Andy I.R., King, Geoffrey C.P., and Berger, Lee R. (2010) Geological setting and age of Australopithecus sediba from Southern Africa. Science, 328 (5975). pp. 205-208.

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Abstract

We describe the geological, geochronological, geomorphological, and faunal context of the Malapa site and the fossils of Australopithecus sediba. The hominins occur with a macrofauna assemblage that existed in Africa between 2.36 and 1.50 million years ago (Ma). The fossils are encased in water-laid, clastic sediments that were deposited along the lower parts of what is now a deeply eroded cave system, immediately above a flowstone layer with a U-Pb date of 2.026 ± 0.021 Ma. The flowstone has a reversed paleomagnetic signature and the overlying hominin-bearing sediments are of normal polarity, indicating deposition during the 1.95- to 1.78-Ma Olduvai Subchron. The two hominin specimens were buried together in a single debris flow that lithified soon after deposition in a phreatic environment inaccessible to scavengers.

Item ID: 10661
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
ISSN: 1095-9203
Date Deposited: 19 Apr 2010 06:00
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0403 Geology > 040303 Geochronology @ 50%
04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0403 Geology > 040311 Stratigraphy (incl Biostratigraphy and Sequence Stratigraphy) @ 30%
04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0403 Geology > 040310 Sedimentology @ 20%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970104 Expanding Knowledge in the Earth Sciences @ 100%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 40
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