Journal article

New developments in the radiocarbon dating of mud wasp nests

Damien Finch, Andrew Gleadow, Janet Hergt, Vladimir A Levchenko, David Fink

QUATERNARY GEOCHRONOLOGY | ELSEVIER SCI LTD | Published : 2019

Abstract

This paper reports on the development of radiocarbon dating of mud wasp nests to provide age estimates for rock art and other anthropogenic modifications to the surfaces of open rock shelters. Over 150 rock shelters in the remote Kimberley region of Western Australia were visited in five field seasons. Mud wasp nest samples were collected from 108 sites. Thirty newly constructed wasp nests were collected to understand their initial composition and to determine the major sources of carbon. Charcoal-rich fractions extracted from 9 modern nests were radiocarbon dated and, whilst most were of zero age, some were found to be up to 1000 years old with the mean age being 255 years. Of the old wasp ..

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