A multi-method approach to dating the burial and skeleton of Kiacatoo Man, New South Wales, Australia

Timothy Pietsch, Justine Kemp, Colin Pardoe, Rainer Grun, Jon Olley, Rachel Wood

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    Kiacatoo Man, a large, rugged Aboriginal adult buried in the Lachlan riverine plains of southeastern Australia, was discovered in 2011. Laser-ablation uranium series analysis on bone yielded a minimum age for the burial of 27.4 ± 0.4 ka (2?). Single-grain, optically stimulated luminescence ages on quartz sediment in which the grave had been dug gave a weighted mean age of 26.4 ± 1.5 ka (1?). Luminescence samples from the grave infill and from sediment beneath the grave exhibit overdispersed dose distributions consistent with bioturbation or other disturbance, which has obscured the burial signal. The overlap between the minimum (U-series) and maximum (luminescence) ages places the burial between 27.0 and 29.4 ka (2?). Luminescence ages obtained from the channel belt of between 28 ± 2 and 25 ± 3 ka indicate that fluvial sedimentation was occurring before the Last Glacial Maximum, which is consistent with the broader geomorphic setting. Together, these results are internally and regionally consistent, and indicate that Kiacatoo Man was one of the more ancient individuals so far identified in Australia. His remains are important to our understanding of patterns of biological variation and other processes that have shaped people in the Murray-Darling Basin through time. Copyright
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)662-673
    JournalJournal of Quaternary Science
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - 2019


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