Amino acid racemization dating method

If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.Ostrich eggshell (OES) is ubiquitous in archaeological sites in Africa and is a favoured substrate for amino acid racemisation (AAR) geochronology, yielding consistent results and thought to approximate a closed system with respect to protein diagenesis.

Therefore, a chronological framework for southern South Africa was built by AAR analysis of a suite of OES samples, with calibration from independent dating methods (optically stimulated luminescence and radiocarbon), up to 151 ka.

Through extensive artificial heating studies on modern OES samples, a checklist of 6 markers has been developed to identify sub-fossil samples that have been exposed to high temperatures.

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isoleucine) only half way to equilibrium, there is considerable potential for OES AAR geochronology in South Africa beyond 151 ka.

In addition, a preliminary study has demonstrated the potential of mass spectrometry in helping to unravel the complex nature of protein diagenesis within bio-minerals.

It has been shown that OES AAR offers a useful additional relative dating technique for archaeological and palaeontological sites from the same regions as Pinnacle Point and Elands Bay Cave, up to at least 151 ka (MIS 6).

Furthermore, as 151 ka samples have racemization for some amino acids (e.g.

Also, D/L concentration thresholds appear to occur as sudden decreases in the rate of racemization.

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