Re-examination of the chronology of Pleistocene hominid sites circa 500,000-50,000 years ago
A research project of the Department of Archaeology.
Dr. Andrew Millard has been conducting a systematic and internally coherent review of the dating evidence (both stratigraphic and chronometric) for Pleistocene hominids, c. 500ka-50ka outside Europe and c. 500ka-200ka in Europe. Funding has come from the Arts and Humanities Research Board (now Council) and Durham University. For each site the stratigraphic, scientific dating and other dating evidence are considered and where possible integrated using advanced statistical techniques. The research is revealing that some fossils are not as well dated as much of the literature assumes, but conversely we can attach much more precise age estimates to other fossils from some repeatedly dated sites. Papers on the techniques have been published in Archaeometry and in Quaternary Geochronology, and a substantial paper on African sites is to be submitted to Journal of Human Evolution. Research into Asian and European sites is ongoing.