Friday, May 12, 2017

The age of the Paleolithic handaxes from the Imjine-Hantan River Basins, South Korea

Kidong Bae, Christopher J. Bae, Kiryong Kim
Quaternary International
23 June, 2012
(Link) open access pdf


Since the discovery of bifacially worked implements at the Chongokni site in the ImjineHantan River Basins (IHRB) area in Korea in 1978, the nature of the Movius Line has been strongly debated. One of the primary debates is the chronometric age of the IHRB handaxes with ages ranging between the middle Middle Pleistocene and the Late Pleistocene. Two primary basalts were identified in the IHRB: Chongok and Chatan (based on fission-track analyses the Chongok basalt dates tow0.5 Ma and the Chatan basalt tow0.15 Ma).  Using a combination of chronometric dating methods (e.g., tephra, TL, OSL, fission-track, 26Ale10Be), a conservative estimate for the age bracket of the IHRB deposits that overlie the Chongok basalt is the middle Middle Pleistocene (w350 ka) to the Late Pleistocene and any deposits in the IHRB that overly the Chatan basalt should date to the Late Pleistocene and be of more recent deposition. Sediment that is sandwiched between the Chongok and Chatan basalts should fall between 350 ka and 115 ka. It is possible the earliest hominin occupation of the IHRB may be slightly older than the 350 ka datapoint used here.

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