Minimum ages for pecked rock markings from Jinmium, north western Australia

Watchman, Alan, Tacon, Paul, Fullagar, Richard, and Head, Lesley (2000) Minimum ages for pecked rock markings from Jinmium, north western Australia. Archaeology in Oceania, 35 (1). pp. 1-10.

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Sixteen accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon (14C) determinations for oxalate crusts overlying three pecked rock markings (cupules) at three separate localities in the Keep River area of north western Australia provide age estimates from 1430-11,000 years since the markings were last retouched. These are the first direct dates reported for rock-art of this kind. While these determinations do not lend strong support to previous argu- ments for a Pleistocene cupule age they also do not refute such arguments. We maintain the age of the crusts is more closely related to climatic fluctuations rather than when cupules were produced, with crust formation directly related to the nature of local ecological conditions. We discuss implications for estimating the time-depth of rock-art sequences in northern Australia, and general problems with the direct dating of rock-art.

Item ID: 12975
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1834-4453
Keywords: rock art
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2013 02:05
FoR Codes: 21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2101 Archaeology > 210102 Archaeological Science @ 100%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9503 Heritage > 950399 Heritage not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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