Cosmogenic nuclide burial dating of hominin-bearing Pleistocene cave deposits at Swartkrans, South Africa


Material Information

Cosmogenic nuclide burial dating of hominin-bearing Pleistocene cave deposits at Swartkrans, South Africa
Series Title:
Quaternary Geochronology
Gibbon, Ryan J.
Pickering, Travis Rayne
Sutton, Morris B.
Heaton, Jason L.
Kuman, Kathleen
Clarke, Ron J.
Brain, C. K.
Granger, Darryl E.
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Cosmogenic Nuclide Burial Dating ( local )
Swartkrans Cave ( local )
Paranthropus Robustus ( local )
Early Homo ( local )
Stone And Bone Tools ( local )
Fire ( local )
serial ( sobekcm )


Based on the cosmogenic nuclide burial dating technique, we present new radiometric age estimates of 2.19 ± 0.08 and 1.80 ± 0.09 million-years-old (Ma) for Member 1, and 0.96 ± 0.09 Ma for Member 3 of the Swartkrans Formation in South Africa. Our data are consistent with, and expand upon, results from previous radiometric dating techniques used at the site. The burial ages of Member 1 are consistent with the uranium–lead (U–Pb) age provided by bracketing flowstones (Pickering et al., 2011), while the age of Member 3 is significantly more precise than the large age bracket provided by U–Pb dating of tooth enamel (Balter et al., 2008) and recently re-evaluated electron spin resonance data (Herries and Adams, 2013). These new dates provide the complete age range for the extinct hominin, Paranthropus robustus, as well as indicate the first appearance of the genus Homo in southern Africa. Our results also indicate: the first, as well as the last, manufacture and use of bone digging tools in South Africa; some of the earliest evidence of stone tool use and large animal butchery in South Africa; and one of the earliest archaeological indications of the domestication of fire in the world.
Original Version:
Quaternary Geochronology, Vol. 24 (2014-12).

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
This object is protected by copyright, and is made available here for research and educational purposes. Permission to reuse, publish, or reproduce the object beyond the bounds of Fair Use or other exemptions to copyright law must be obtained from the copyright holder.

USFLDC Membership

University of South Florida
Karst Information Portal

Postcard Information



Download Options


No images or PDF downloads are available for this resource.

Cite this item close


Cras ut cursus ante, a fringilla nunc. Mauris lorem nunc, cursus sit amet enim ac, vehicula vestibulum mi. Mauris viverra nisl vel enim faucibus porta. Praesent sit amet ornare diam, non finibus nulla.


Cras efficitur magna et sapien varius, luctus ullamcorper dolor convallis. Orci varius natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Fusce sit amet justo ut erat laoreet congue sed a ante.


Phasellus ornare in augue eu imperdiet. Donec malesuada sapien ante, at vehicula orci tempor molestie. Proin vitae urna elit. Pellentesque vitae nisi et diam euismod malesuada aliquet non erat.


Nunc fringilla dolor ut dictum placerat. Proin ac neque rutrum, consectetur ligula id, laoreet ligula. Nulla lorem massa, consectetur vitae consequat in, lobortis at dolor. Nunc sed leo odio.