Uranium-Series Dated Authigenic Carbonates and Acheulian Sites in Southern Egypt

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Science  24 Feb 1989:
Vol. 243, Issue 4894, pp. 1053-1056
DOI: 10.1126/science.243.4894.1053


Field investigations in southern Egypt have yielded Acheulian artifacts in situ in authigenic carbonate deposits (CaCO3-cemented alluvium) along the edges of nowaggraded paleovalleys (Wadi Arid and Wadi Safsaf). Uranium-series dating of 25 carbonate samples from various localities as far apart as 70 kilometers indicates that widespread carbonate deposition occurred about 45, 141 and 212 ka (thousand years ago). Most of the carbonate appears to have been precipitated from groundwater, which suggests that these three episodes of deposition may be related to late Pleistocene humid climates that facilitated human settlement in this now hyperarid region. Carbonate cements from sediments containing Acheulian artifacts provide a minimum age of 212 ka for early occupation of the paleovalleys.

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