New Approaches to AMS Dating Residues from Stone Tools.

04th December 2013

Yates et al 2013A previous study by Yates et al. (2013) demonstrated the feasibility of AMS dating residues from recently manufactured stone tools, on securely dated plant material by careful control of post-depositional contaminants including those possible during sample preparation. Since the results of that project demonstrated the applicability of AMS dating on residues, it seems plausible to now establish the possibility of applying the successful aspects of the methodology on artefacts from archaeological contexts. Therefore, the focus of the current study will be to conduct follow up research on European, Late Palaeolithic and Mesolithic stone tools, which originate from excavated and dated archaeological sites including a well-dated stratigraphy. We examine residues from stone tools of the German bog site Friesack 4, which comprises the most detailed stratigraphy from the Mesolithic in Europe known so far and from the Late Palaeolithic site in Wesseling (Germany) where the one phase occupation is revealed by four matching 14C dates. While the stone tools come with securely dated ages and ample residues, these artefacts also contain a range of post-depositional related contaminants. In this present study we examine ways to remove non-use-related residues from artefacts, without compromising the integrity of use-related residues. Additionally we focus on residue sample preparation for AMS dating.


Fullagar, R. 2006 Residues and usewear. In J. Balme and A. Paterson (eds), Archaeology in Practice: A Student Guide to Archaeological Analyses, pp.207–233. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.

Gehlen, B. 2009 A microlith sequence from Friesack 4, Brandenburg, and the Mesolithic in Germany. Proceedings of an International Meeting, Brussels, 30 May–1 June, 2007.

Yates, A., A.M. Smith, J. Parr, A. Scheffers and R. Joannes-Boyau 2013 AMS dating of ancient plant residues from experimental stone tools: A pilot study. Journal of Archaeological Science <>.

The citation for this poster is:

Yates, A., A. Smith, J. Parr, A. Scheffers, R. Joannes-Boyau and F. Bertuch 2013 New Approaches to AMS Dating Residues from Stone Tools. Poster presented at the AAA Annual Conference, 2-4 December, Coffs Harbour.

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