Because stone is so resilient, the most common and obvious remains of Palaeolithic material culture are stone tools, quarries, and stone arrangements and megaliths, yet they have remained inherently difficult to date via geochronological techniques. This project has two general aims that will address this problem. First we will apply existing and recently developed methods based on optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) in novel ways to develop approaches that can be used to date the use of lithic quarries, the construction of stone arrangements and megaliths, and the accumulation of surface artefact scatters.
The second aim of this project is to apply these approaches to resolve two questions in contexts where more classical approaches have failed: when was the high altitude core of the Tibetan Plateau permanently colonised by Palaeolithic humans and how did continent-wide Australian stone arrangement culture develop temporally? The new approaches developed in this project will enable archaeologists to research accessible and new types of sites. Likewise, the numerical chronologies for central-Tibetan occupation and Australian stone arrangement construction will be valuable contributions to regional- and global-scale archaeological discussions.
Project title: Out in the open: Dating open archaeological sites in Tibet and Australia using luminescence-based dating techniques (FWF M 2121). Duration: 2016-2018
P.i.: Luke Gliganic
Co p.i.: Michael Meyer