Luminescence dating in archaeology from origins to optical datingbuzz find

29-Jun-2017 12:10

Key physical relations between the famous Great Gallery rock art panel in Utah, stream deposits, and a rockfall that removed some art, allow us to disprove all but a late Archaic hypothesis for the age of this type section of the Barrier Canyon style.

Use of a new luminescence profile technique on the same rockfall furthermore outlines a window of time A. ∼1 to 1100 when the figures could have been painted, generally more recent than expected.

However, BCS art commonly shows modification and embellishment over time, and Cole (20) argues that this shows the panels were not “frozen in time.” BCS art may in fact span considerable time and cultures, but the ability to test such ideas hinges upon building directly dated chronologies.

Location of the Great Gallery study site near the geographic center of the region of BCS rock art (tinted in red and modified from ref.

Using these dating tools, we can constrain the age of rock art and gain new insight into past cultures and landscapes.

Here, we synthesize results from three approaches to dating the type section of BCS art, the Great Gallery in Canyonlands National Park of southeastern Utah.

The Great Gallery is the type locality for the BCS (Fig. 400) styles known (20), including the San Juan Anthropomorphic style, which shows elements of similarity to BCS (21).

luminescence dating in archaeology from origins to optical-63

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The figures were formed by a meticulous combination of rock pecking and application of multiple pigments (19, 20).

The only prior hypothesis not disproven is a late Archaic origin for BCS rock art, although our age result of A. ∼1–1100 coincides better with the transition to and rise of the subsequent Fremont culture.