The complementarity of luminescence dating methods illustrated on the Mousterian sequence of the Roc de Marsal: A series of reindeer-dominated, Quina Mousterian layers dated to MIS 3

Guillaume Guerin, Marine Frouin, Joséphine Tuquoi, Kristina Jørkov Thomsen, Paul Goldberg, Vera Aldeias, Christelle Lahaye, Norbert Mercier, Pierre Guibert, Mayank Jain, Dennis Sandgathe, Shannon J.P. McPherron, Alain Turq, Harold L. Dibble

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    Abstract

    Located in southwest France, Roc de Marsal is a cave with a rich Mousterian stratigraphic sequence. The lower part of the sequence (Layers 9–5) are characterized by assemblages dominated by Levallois lithic technology associated with composite faunal spectra (including red deer, roe deer and reindeer) that shows a gradual increase in the frequency of reindeer. The top of the sequence (Layers 4–2) are characterised instead by Quina lithic technology (both in terms of technology and typology) with the faunal remains dominated by reindeer. Roc de Marsal thus provides a very interesting case study to place behavioural changes in a context of changing climates and environments in western Europe during the late Pleistocene. To link the occupations at Roc de Marsal with global and regional climatic conditions known independently, a robust chronology is needed. With this aim in mind, we applied three luminescence dating methods (TL, OSL and IRSL) on different minerals (flint, quartz and K-feldspar extracts). Here the results of two of these methods are presented in detail (TL and OSL) and compared with preliminary IRSL data. At Roc de Marsal, a comparison of methods was necessary to overcome a complex sedimentary history, with very heterogeneous dose rate distributions, both at the beta (mm) and gamma (dm) dose rate scales. The results indicate that the lower Levallois layers are dated to ∼65–70 ka, while overlying Quina layers are dated to ∼49 ka. These ages for the lower layers fit well with some models that place mixed faunal assemblages in the initial MIS 4; however, while the Quina ages overlap with several other Quina assemblages from the region, they place the reindeer dominated fauna well after the peak cold of MIS 4 and suggest a more extended and complex period of contemporaneous lithic techno-complexes than posited by some current models.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalQuaternary International
    Volume433
    Pages (from-to)102-115
    ISSN1040-6182
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2017

    Keywords

    • Middle Palaeolithic variability
    • Quina Mousterian
    • Luminescence dating methods (TL, OSL, IRSL)
    • Single grain OSL
    • Dose rate heterogeneities

    Cite this

    Guerin, Guillaume ; Frouin, Marine ; Tuquoi, Joséphine ; Thomsen, Kristina Jørkov ; Goldberg, Paul ; Aldeias, Vera ; Lahaye, Christelle ; Mercier, Norbert ; Guibert, Pierre ; Jain, Mayank ; Sandgathe, Dennis ; McPherron, Shannon J.P. ; Turq, Alain ; Dibble, Harold L. / The complementarity of luminescence dating methods illustrated on the Mousterian sequence of the Roc de Marsal: A series of reindeer-dominated, Quina Mousterian layers dated to MIS 3. In: Quaternary International. 2017 ; Vol. 433. pp. 102-115.
    @article{1dbe4f0ef61a464bac4e858bdacee5ea,
    title = "The complementarity of luminescence dating methods illustrated on the Mousterian sequence of the Roc de Marsal: A series of reindeer-dominated, Quina Mousterian layers dated to MIS 3",
    abstract = "Located in southwest France, Roc de Marsal is a cave with a rich Mousterian stratigraphic sequence. The lower part of the sequence (Layers 9–5) are characterized by assemblages dominated by Levallois lithic technology associated with composite faunal spectra (including red deer, roe deer and reindeer) that shows a gradual increase in the frequency of reindeer. The top of the sequence (Layers 4–2) are characterised instead by Quina lithic technology (both in terms of technology and typology) with the faunal remains dominated by reindeer. Roc de Marsal thus provides a very interesting case study to place behavioural changes in a context of changing climates and environments in western Europe during the late Pleistocene. To link the occupations at Roc de Marsal with global and regional climatic conditions known independently, a robust chronology is needed. With this aim in mind, we applied three luminescence dating methods (TL, OSL and IRSL) on different minerals (flint, quartz and K-feldspar extracts). Here the results of two of these methods are presented in detail (TL and OSL) and compared with preliminary IRSL data. At Roc de Marsal, a comparison of methods was necessary to overcome a complex sedimentary history, with very heterogeneous dose rate distributions, both at the beta (mm) and gamma (dm) dose rate scales. The results indicate that the lower Levallois layers are dated to ∼65–70 ka, while overlying Quina layers are dated to ∼49 ka. These ages for the lower layers fit well with some models that place mixed faunal assemblages in the initial MIS 4; however, while the Quina ages overlap with several other Quina assemblages from the region, they place the reindeer dominated fauna well after the peak cold of MIS 4 and suggest a more extended and complex period of contemporaneous lithic techno-complexes than posited by some current models.",
    keywords = "Middle Palaeolithic variability, Quina Mousterian, Luminescence dating methods (TL, OSL, IRSL), Single grain OSL, Dose rate heterogeneities",
    author = "Guillaume Guerin and Marine Frouin and Jos{\'e}phine Tuquoi and Thomsen, {Kristina J{\o}rkov} and Paul Goldberg and Vera Aldeias and Christelle Lahaye and Norbert Mercier and Pierre Guibert and Mayank Jain and Dennis Sandgathe and McPherron, {Shannon J.P.} and Alain Turq and Dibble, {Harold L.}",
    year = "2017",
    doi = "10.1016/j.quaint.2016.02.063",
    language = "English",
    volume = "433",
    pages = "102--115",
    journal = "Quaternary International",
    issn = "1040-6182",
    publisher = "Pergamon Press",

    }

    The complementarity of luminescence dating methods illustrated on the Mousterian sequence of the Roc de Marsal: A series of reindeer-dominated, Quina Mousterian layers dated to MIS 3. / Guerin, Guillaume; Frouin, Marine; Tuquoi, Joséphine; Thomsen, Kristina Jørkov; Goldberg, Paul; Aldeias, Vera; Lahaye, Christelle; Mercier, Norbert; Guibert, Pierre; Jain, Mayank; Sandgathe, Dennis; McPherron, Shannon J.P.; Turq, Alain; Dibble, Harold L.

    In: Quaternary International, Vol. 433, 2017, p. 102-115.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - The complementarity of luminescence dating methods illustrated on the Mousterian sequence of the Roc de Marsal: A series of reindeer-dominated, Quina Mousterian layers dated to MIS 3

    AU - Guerin, Guillaume

    AU - Frouin, Marine

    AU - Tuquoi, Joséphine

    AU - Thomsen, Kristina Jørkov

    AU - Goldberg, Paul

    AU - Aldeias, Vera

    AU - Lahaye, Christelle

    AU - Mercier, Norbert

    AU - Guibert, Pierre

    AU - Jain, Mayank

    AU - Sandgathe, Dennis

    AU - McPherron, Shannon J.P.

    AU - Turq, Alain

    AU - Dibble, Harold L.

    PY - 2017

    Y1 - 2017

    N2 - Located in southwest France, Roc de Marsal is a cave with a rich Mousterian stratigraphic sequence. The lower part of the sequence (Layers 9–5) are characterized by assemblages dominated by Levallois lithic technology associated with composite faunal spectra (including red deer, roe deer and reindeer) that shows a gradual increase in the frequency of reindeer. The top of the sequence (Layers 4–2) are characterised instead by Quina lithic technology (both in terms of technology and typology) with the faunal remains dominated by reindeer. Roc de Marsal thus provides a very interesting case study to place behavioural changes in a context of changing climates and environments in western Europe during the late Pleistocene. To link the occupations at Roc de Marsal with global and regional climatic conditions known independently, a robust chronology is needed. With this aim in mind, we applied three luminescence dating methods (TL, OSL and IRSL) on different minerals (flint, quartz and K-feldspar extracts). Here the results of two of these methods are presented in detail (TL and OSL) and compared with preliminary IRSL data. At Roc de Marsal, a comparison of methods was necessary to overcome a complex sedimentary history, with very heterogeneous dose rate distributions, both at the beta (mm) and gamma (dm) dose rate scales. The results indicate that the lower Levallois layers are dated to ∼65–70 ka, while overlying Quina layers are dated to ∼49 ka. These ages for the lower layers fit well with some models that place mixed faunal assemblages in the initial MIS 4; however, while the Quina ages overlap with several other Quina assemblages from the region, they place the reindeer dominated fauna well after the peak cold of MIS 4 and suggest a more extended and complex period of contemporaneous lithic techno-complexes than posited by some current models.

    AB - Located in southwest France, Roc de Marsal is a cave with a rich Mousterian stratigraphic sequence. The lower part of the sequence (Layers 9–5) are characterized by assemblages dominated by Levallois lithic technology associated with composite faunal spectra (including red deer, roe deer and reindeer) that shows a gradual increase in the frequency of reindeer. The top of the sequence (Layers 4–2) are characterised instead by Quina lithic technology (both in terms of technology and typology) with the faunal remains dominated by reindeer. Roc de Marsal thus provides a very interesting case study to place behavioural changes in a context of changing climates and environments in western Europe during the late Pleistocene. To link the occupations at Roc de Marsal with global and regional climatic conditions known independently, a robust chronology is needed. With this aim in mind, we applied three luminescence dating methods (TL, OSL and IRSL) on different minerals (flint, quartz and K-feldspar extracts). Here the results of two of these methods are presented in detail (TL and OSL) and compared with preliminary IRSL data. At Roc de Marsal, a comparison of methods was necessary to overcome a complex sedimentary history, with very heterogeneous dose rate distributions, both at the beta (mm) and gamma (dm) dose rate scales. The results indicate that the lower Levallois layers are dated to ∼65–70 ka, while overlying Quina layers are dated to ∼49 ka. These ages for the lower layers fit well with some models that place mixed faunal assemblages in the initial MIS 4; however, while the Quina ages overlap with several other Quina assemblages from the region, they place the reindeer dominated fauna well after the peak cold of MIS 4 and suggest a more extended and complex period of contemporaneous lithic techno-complexes than posited by some current models.

    KW - Middle Palaeolithic variability

    KW - Quina Mousterian

    KW - Luminescence dating methods (TL, OSL, IRSL)

    KW - Single grain OSL

    KW - Dose rate heterogeneities

    U2 - 10.1016/j.quaint.2016.02.063

    DO - 10.1016/j.quaint.2016.02.063

    M3 - Journal article

    VL - 433

    SP - 102

    EP - 115

    JO - Quaternary International

    JF - Quaternary International

    SN - 1040-6182

    ER -