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Carbonates, Speleothem Archaeological (U-Series)

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Encyclopedia of Scientific Dating Methods
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Archaeological carbonate speleothems: Deposits of secondary carbonate minerals (usually calcite or aragonite consisting of CaCO3) that formed in caves containing artefacts or other evidence of past human or hominid occupation


U-series dating such as U-Th (or 230Th/U) is a well-established, accurate, and precise method with a wide range of applications in earth sciences, palaeoclimate research, and archaeology (Bourdon et al. 2003). U-series dating can be used to determine the age of materials that formed with a well-constrained radioactive disequilibrium between U and its daughter isotopes, including precipitates of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) in cave environments, i.e., speleothems like stalagmites, stalactites, or flowstones. U-series dating is essential for palaeoclimate research using speleothems but is less commonly used for archaeological applications. However, cave environments are often associated with archaeology and archaeological finds. Excavations in...

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Correspondence to Dirk Hoffmann .

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Hoffmann, D. (2014). Carbonates, Speleothem Archaeological (U-Series). In: Rink, W., Thompson, J. (eds) Encyclopedia of Scientific Dating Methods. Springer, Dordrecht.

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