Middle Holocene Age of the Sunnyvale Human Skeleton

Science  17 Jun 1983:
Vol. 220, Issue 4603, pp. 1271-1273
DOI: 10.1126/science.220.4603.1271


A morphologically modern human skeleton from Sunnyvale, California, previously dated by aspartic acid racemization to be approximately 70,000 years old and by uranium series isotopic ratios to be 8300 and 9000 years old, appears to be younger when dated by the carbon-14 method. Four carbon-14 determinations made by both decay and direct counting on three organic fractions of postcranial bone support a middle Holocene age assignment for the skeleton, probably in the range of 3500 to 5000 carbon-14 years before the present. This dating evidence is consistent with the geologic, archeological, and anthropometric relationships of the burial as well as previously determined carbon-14 determinations on associated materials.