The University of Arizona

Direct Radiocarbon Dating of Late Pleistocene Hominids in Eurasia: Current Status, Problems, and Perspectives

Yaroslav V Kuzmin, Susan G Keates


The corpus of radiocarbon dates run directly on Pleistocene-age human remains in Eurasia (~120 values, with ~80 of them found to be reliable) is analyzed and interpreted. The latest Neanderthals are dated to ~34,000–30,500 BP (~38,800–35,400 cal BP). They probably coexisted with the first modern humans at ~36,200–30,200 BP (~42,500–32,800 cal BP) in the western and central parts of Europe. The earliest direct 14C dates on modern humans in Eurasia are ~34,950–33,300 BP (~40,400–37,800 cal BP). A paucity of 14C dates corresponding to the LGM is evident for Europe, but Asia perhaps had larger populations during this timespan. The main criteria for the selection of bone/tooth material for direct 14C dating as now widely accepted are (1) the collagen yield (generally, 1% or more) and (2) the C:N ratio (within the 2.9–3.4 range).

DOI: 10.2458/56.16936


radiocarbon, direct dating, Paleolithic humans, Eurasia

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