High-precision AMS 14 C chronology for Gatecliff Shelter, Nevada

Douglas James Kennett, Brendan James Culleton, Jaime Dexter, Scott A. Mensing, David Hurst Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Gatecliff Shelter provides a deeply stratified record of human-environment interaction in the Desert West spanning most of the middle and late Holocene. The well-preserved 10m-deep deposits serve as an important reference sequence for technological and subsistence change in the Great Basin. Archaeological work started at Gatecliff in 1970 and a geochronological framework was established based on 47 uncalibrated radiocarbon ( 14 C) dates obtained from several conventional radiometric laboratories between 1972 and 1982. These radiocarbon dates are not well accommodated within a Bayesian chronological model for these important deposits due to multiple temporal reversals and large analytical errors. This model was discarded in favor of one based on a combination of high-precision AMS 14 C dates of short-lived carbonized plant remains supplemented with existing 14 C dates culled from the original set using a Bayesian chronological model. Summed probabilities of the modeled posterior distributions of these 14 C dates (N=24) show episodic use of the shelter as a logistic hunting camp between 6050 and 3315calBP, a significant hiatus in occupation between 3315 and 2145calBP, and more persistent use by family bands after this time. In the future, this high-precision chronology will provide the foundation for reinterpreting broader patterns of technological and subsistence change in the Intermountain West and evaluating these changes relative to high-resolution climate records.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)621-632
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science
Volume52
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014

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desert
occupation
logistics
climate
interaction
Shelter
Chronology
Technological Change
Subsistence Change
time
Radiocarbon
Archaeology
Hunting
Human Environment
Climate
Interaction
Great Basin
Middle Holocene
Plant Remains
Conventional

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology

Cite this

Kennett, Douglas James ; Culleton, Brendan James ; Dexter, Jaime ; Mensing, Scott A. ; Thomas, David Hurst. / High-precision AMS 14 C chronology for Gatecliff Shelter, Nevada In: Journal of Archaeological Science. 2014 ; Vol. 52. pp. 621-632.
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High-precision AMS 14 C chronology for Gatecliff Shelter, Nevada . / Kennett, Douglas James; Culleton, Brendan James; Dexter, Jaime; Mensing, Scott A.; Thomas, David Hurst.

In: Journal of Archaeological Science, Vol. 52, 01.12.2014, p. 621-632.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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