Radiocarbon Intercomparison Program for Chauvet Cave | Grotte Chauvet-Pont d'Arc

Radiocarbon Intercomparison Program for Chauvet Cave


We present the first results of an accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon intercomparison program on 3 different charcoal samples collected in one of the hearths of the Megaceros gallery of Chauvet Cave (Ardèche, France). This cave, rich in parietal decoration, is important for the study of the appearance and evolution of prehistoric art because certain drawings have been 14C dated to the Aurignacian period at the beginning of the Upper Paleolithic. The new dates indicate an age of about 32,000 BP, which is consistent with this attribution and in agreement with the results from the same sector of the cave measured previously at the Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement (LSCE). Six laboratories were involved in the intercomparison. Samples were measured in 4 AMS facilities: Center for Isotope Research, Groningen University, the Netherlands; the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, UK; the Centre de datation par le carbone 14, Univ. Claude Bernard Lyon 1, France (measured by AMS facilities of Poznań University, Poland); and the LSCE, UMR CEA-CNRS-UVSQ, France (measured by the Leibniz-Labor of Christian-Albrechts-Universität Kiel, Germany).

Hélène Valladas
Hélène Valladas

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