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The Colonization of Eastern Siberia: an Evaluation of the Paleolithic Age Radiocarbon Dates

Authors
Journal
Journal of Archaeological Science
0305-4403
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
23
Issue
4
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1006/jasc.1996.0054
Keywords
  • Eastern Siberia
  • Russian Far East
  • Paleolithic
  • Radiocarbon Age
  • Statistical Analysis
  • Human Colonization
Disciplines
  • Earth Science

Abstract

Abstract This paper critically evaluates the published radiocarbon data obtained for 46 Eastern Siberian Paleolithic sites (older than 8000 BP). The sites were characterized by both radiocarbon age and geographic location (i.e. latitude and longitude), and rated according to the materials dated and their stratigraphic context. Multiple regression statistics ( r 2, P[two tails]) were used to examine the relationships between the variables age and location. The results were then illustrated as three-dimensional linear surface plots. A plot based on the bulk of 14C dates ( N=150) shows that the age of sites decrease in a west-to-east direction. A plot created from the highest rated 14C dates ( N=63) demonstrates that the principal chronocline is from south-to-north. Statistically, both stratigraphic context and sample composition affect the accuracy of radiocarbon dates. Age determinations made on charcoal collected from undisturbed sediments are the most reliable. This new approach provides a more precise view of human colonization and may be used to examine time transgressive cultural dispersion elsewhere.

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