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Extended residence times for foraminifera in a marine-influenced terrestrial archaeological deposit and implications for palaeoenvironmental reconstruction

Abstract
Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon dating and taphonomic grading was undertaken on foraminifera preserved in the archaeological shell matrix site of Thundiy, Bentinck Island, southern Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia. Foraminifera were assigned to one of six taphonomic grades ranging from pristine to severely abraded. AMS dating demonstrates a weak relationship between preservation status and age. Foraminifera ages are inconsistent with multiple ages on marine shell from the same deposit implying significant sediment transport system residence ages (the time between death of the organism and final deposition) for foraminifera in the deposit. Results demonstrate that foraminifera cannot be assumed to be contemporary with other components of the sedimentary context in which they occur, indicating that caution is required in interpreting chronologies and palaeoenvironmental records based on foraminifera recovered from highly dynamic depositional settings. Findings point to the potential of foraminifera AMS dating of coastal archaeological deposits to contribute to evaluations of site integrity and chrono-stratigraphic analyses.
Type
Journal Article
Type of thesis
Series
Citation
Nagel, T., Rosendahl, D., Hua, Q., Moss, P., Sloss, C., Petchey, F., & Ulm, S. (2016). Extended residence times for foraminifera in a marine-influenced terrestrial archaeological deposit and implications for palaeoenvironmental reconstruction. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, 5, 25–34. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jasrep.2015.11.008
Date
2016
Publisher
Elsevier
Degree
Supervisors
Rights
This is an author’s accepted version of an article published in the journal: Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports. The final publication is available from: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jasrep.2015.11.008