August 21, 2009

Post-glacial recolonization of Britain happened after 14,700 years BP

Quaternary Science Reviews
Volume 28, Issues 19-20, September 2009, Pages 1895-1913

The early Lateglacial re-colonization of Britain: new radiocarbon evidence from Gough's Cave, southwest England

R.M. Jacobi and T.F.G. Higham


Gough's Cave is still Britain's most significant Later Upper Palaeolithic site. New ultrafiltered radiocarbon determinations on bone change our understanding of its occupation, by demonstrating that this lasted for only a very short span of time, at the beginning of the Lateglacial Interstadial (Greenland Interstadial 1 (GI-1: Bølling and Allerød)). The application of Bayesian modelling to the radiocarbon dates from this, and other sites from the period in southwest England, suggests that re-colonization after the Last Glacial Maximum took place only after 14,700 cal BP, and is, therefore, more recent than that of the Paris Basin and the Belgian Ardennes. On their own, the radiocarbon determinations cannot tell us whether re-colonization was synchronous with, just prior to, or after, Lateglacial warming. Isotopic studies of humanly-modified mammalian tooth enamel may be one way forward.


1 comment:

Maju said...

Would not be "post-Glacial" but rather "post-LGM". 15 kya is roughly the time of expansion of Magdalenian northwards.

I find this issue interesting because I am under the impression that Britain was colonized in a somewhat dual manner, with the South and SW being colonized this early from the Seine-Rhin area probably and the North and NE later on (c. 12-10 kya) from Doggerland/Northern mainland Europe.