Stratigraphy and chronology of the WLH 50 human remains, Willandra Lakes World Heritage Area, Australia

Rainer Grun, Nigel Spooner, John Magee, Alan Thorne, John Simpson, Ge Yan, Graham Mortimer

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    We present a detailed description of the geological setting of the burial site of the WLH 50 human remains along with attempts to constrain the age of this important human fossil. Freshwater shells collected at the surface of Unit 3, which is most closely associated with the human remains, and a carbonate sample that encrusted the human bone were analysed. Gamma spectrometry was carried out on the WLH 50 calvaria and TIMS U-series analysis on a small post-cranial bone fragment. OSL dating was applied to a sample from Unit 3 at a level from which the WLH 50 remains may have eroded, as well as from the underlying sediments. Considering the geochemistry of the samples analysed, as well as the possibility of reworking or burial from younger layers, the age of the WLH 50 remains lies between 12.2 ± 1.8 and 32.8 ± 4.6 ka (2-? errors).
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)597-604
    JournalJournal of Human Evolution
    Volume60
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

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