New radiometric ages for the Early Upper Palaeolithic type locality of Brno-Bohunice (Czech Republic): comparison of OSL, IRSL, TL and 14C dating results

D. Richter, G. Tostevin, P. Škrdla, W. Davies

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New radiometric data are reported from the recent excavation of the type locality of the Early Upper Palaeolithic entity of the Bohunician. Recently obtained radiocarbon (14C) data on charcoal are compared with new Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) dating of sediment. OSL ages were determined on sediment from the archaeological occupation at Brno-Bohunice, as well as from the over- and underlying loessic sediments. Multiple techniques were applied, which all gave congruent results. While a dual protocol (post IR-OSL) failed the quality criteria tests, ages were obtained by Multiple-Aliquot-Additive-Dose (MAAD) on polymineral material and Single-Aliquot-Regeneration (SAR) on fine grain quartz extract as well as on polymineral material. Fading tests show significant loss of Infrared Stimulated Luminescence (IRSL) after storage for 3 and 12 months for one sample, but little or no fading for others. The resulting (uncorrected) age estimates are smaller than those on quartz by OSL methods. The latter are considered to be more reliable estimates of the sedimentation age of these deposits. The measured OSL doses do not show a simple distribution and the lowest 5% was used for age calculation to represent the most likely sedimentation age. The quartz from the loess overlying the archaeological layer is OSL dated to 30.9 ± 3.1 ka, while the sediment for the paleosol which contains the archaeological layer gave an age of 58.7 ± 5.8 ka. The attribution of this paleosol to the Hengelo interstadial is therefore questionable. However, if the Hengelo interstadial is correlated with the Dansgaard/Oeschger (D/O) event 12, statistical agreement within 2-σ is achieved. The OSL result for the archaeological layer is in accordance with a weighted average TL date on heated flint artifacts of 48.2 ± 1.9 ka from this layer as well as calibrated radiocarbon data (CalPal Hulu 2007) from nearby locations. However, radiocarbon data on charcoal samples obtained during excavation at Brno-Bohunice 2002 provide age estimates between 30 and 40 ka 14C-years, which translate to approximately (33) 35-44 ka on the calendric time scale according to the Hulu 2007 model. For the underlying loess a depositional age of 104.3 ± 10.6 ka was obtained by OSL. The presented OSL ages indicate that a simple correlation of soil sequences between sites within a region has to be verified by chronometric dating.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)708-720
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2009


  • Bohunician
  • Central Europe
  • Dating
  • Early Upper Palaeolithic
  • Leaf points
  • Middle Danube
  • OSL
  • Radiocarbon

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