Redating Australia's oldest human remains: a sceptic's view

Redating Australia's oldest human remains: a sceptic's view News and Views J. M. Bowler J. W. Magee School of Earth Sciences, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria 3052, Australia. E-mail: bowler@earthsci.unimelb.edu.au Department of Geology, The Faculties, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia. E-mail: jwmagee@geology.anu.edu.au Journal of Human Evolution (2000) 38, 719­726 doi:10.1006/jhev.1999.0397 Available online at http://www.idealibrary.com on Introduction The discovery in 1969 and 1974 of ancient human skeletal remains at Lake Mungo in the Willandra Lakes system (Figure 1) opened a new window into the already expanding field of Australian archaeology (Bowler et al., 1970, 1972). Amongst those discoveries, the relevance of the articulated skeleton Lake Mungo 3 (LM3, Bowler & Thorne, 1976) with more recently obtained age estimates of 42 to 45 ka (Bowler, 1998; Oyston, 1996) is of major significance. Recent efforts by Thorne et al. (1999) to extend the chronology of that important site, while commendable in intent, are lacking in systematic treatment of the evidence. For this complex, laboratory-based dating to be successful, the data must be compatible with external field evidence. Unless this can be demonstrated and the limitations of data credibility critically understood, the conclusions drawn may be erroneous. We examine here the validity of the dates reported by Thorne http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Human Evolution Elsevier

Redating Australia's oldest human remains: a sceptic's view

Journal of Human Evolution, Volume 38 (5) – May 1, 2000

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Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2000 Elsevier Ltd
ISSN
0047-2484
eISSN
1095-8606
DOI
10.1006/jhev.1999.0397
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

News and Views J. M. Bowler J. W. Magee School of Earth Sciences, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria 3052, Australia. E-mail: bowler@earthsci.unimelb.edu.au Department of Geology, The Faculties, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia. E-mail: jwmagee@geology.anu.edu.au Journal of Human Evolution (2000) 38, 719­726 doi:10.1006/jhev.1999.0397 Available online at http://www.idealibrary.com on Introduction The discovery in 1969 and 1974 of ancient human skeletal remains at Lake Mungo in the Willandra Lakes system (Figure 1) opened a new window into the already expanding field of Australian archaeology (Bowler et al., 1970, 1972). Amongst those discoveries, the relevance of the articulated skeleton Lake Mungo 3 (LM3, Bowler & Thorne, 1976) with more recently obtained age estimates of 42 to 45 ka (Bowler, 1998; Oyston, 1996) is of major significance. Recent efforts by Thorne et al. (1999) to extend the chronology of that important site, while commendable in intent, are lacking in systematic treatment of the evidence. For this complex, laboratory-based dating to be successful, the data must be compatible with external field evidence. Unless this can be demonstrated and the limitations of data credibility critically understood, the conclusions drawn may be erroneous. We examine here the validity of the dates reported by Thorne

Journal

Journal of Human EvolutionElsevier

Published: May 1, 2000

References

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