Centuries of marine radiocarbon reservoir age variation within archaeological Mesodesma Donacium shells from Southern Peru

Radiocarbon
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Abstract

Mollusk shells provide brief (<5 yr per shell) records of past marine conditions, including marine radiocarbon reservoir age (R) and upwelling. We report 21 14C ages and R calculations on small (∼2 mg) samples from 2 Mesodesma donacium (surf clam) shells. These shells were excavated from a semi-subterranean house floor stratum 14C dated to 7625±35 BP at site QJ-280, Quebrada Jaguay, southern Peru. The ranges in marine 14C ages (and thus R) from the 2 shells are 530 and 170 14C yr; R from individual aragonite samples spans 130±60 to 730±170 14C yr. This intrashell 14C variability suggests that 14C dating of small (time-slice much less than 1 yr) marine samples from a variable-R (i.e. variable-upwelling) environment may introduce centuries of chronometric uncertainty.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Centuries of marine radiocarbon reservoir age variation within archaeological Mesodesma Donacium shells from Southern Peru
Series title Radiocarbon
DOI 10.1017/S0033822200046282
Volume 52
Issue 3
Year Published 2010
Language English
Publisher University of Arizona
Description 8 p.
First page 1207
Last page 1214