Letter | Published:

ESR-dating of the fossil hominid cranium from Petralona Cave, Greece

Naturevolume 292pages533536 (1981) | Download Citation

Subjects

Abstract

The age of the hominid cranium discovered in 1960 in a limestone cave near Petralona (Greece) is a continuing cause of controversy. The age of the skull, which was apparently encrusted by brown calcite soon after the death of the individual concerned, has been variously estimated at between 70,0001 and 700,0002 yr. Here we show using electron spin resonance (ESR) measurements of the calcite encrustation and of bone fragments that the age of the Petralona hominid lies between 160,000 and 240,000 yr. We also demonstrate, by trace element analysis, that the composition of the calcite encrustation is the same as that of the very top of the travertine floor.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1

    Poulianos, A. N. Archaeology 24, 6–11 (1971).

  2. 2

    Poulianos, A. N. Anthropos 7, 7–11; 13–29 (1980).

  3. 3

    Sickenberg, O. Geol. Geophys. Res. Inst. Athens 9, 1–16 (1964).

  4. 4

    Sickenberg, O. Ann. Geol. Pays. Hellen. 23, 230–264 (1971).

  5. 5

    Hennig, G. J. thesis, Univ. Cologne (1979).

  6. 6

    Ikeya, M. Anthropos 7, 143–151 (1980).

  7. 7

    Schwarcz, H. P., Liritzis, Y. & Dixon, A. Anthropos 7, 152–173 (1980).

  8. 8

    Hennig, G. J., Bangert, U., Herr, W. & Poulianos, A. N. Anthropos 7, 215–241 (1980).

  9. 9

    Liritzis, Y. Anthropos 7, 215–241 (1980).

  10. 10

    Ikeya, M. Science 207, 977–979 (1980).

  11. 11

    Bangert, U. & Hennig, G. J. PACT J. 3, 281–289 (1979).

  12. 12

    Wintle, A. G. Can. J. Earth Sci. 15, 1977–1986 (1978).

  13. 13

    Zeller, E. J., Levy, P. W. & Mattern, P. L. Proc. Symp. Radioactive Dating and Low Level Counting, 531–540 (IAEA, Vienna, 1967).

  14. 14

    Ikeya, M. Nature 255, 48–50 (1975).

  15. 15

    Ikeya, M. Archaeometry 20, 147–158 (1978).

  16. 16

    Harmon, R. S., Thompson, P., Schwarcz, H. & Ford, D. Nat. Speleol. Soc. Bull. 27, 21–33 (1975).

  17. 17

    Hennig, G. J., Bangert, U. & Herr, W. Br. Mus. Occas. Pap. 21, 73–78 (1980).

  18. 18

    Schwarcz, H. P. Archaeometry 22, 3–24 (1980).

  19. 19

    Wintle, A. G. J. Electrostat. 3, 281–288 (1977).

  20. 20

    Liritzis, Y. & Poulianos, A. N. Anthropos 7, 252–259 (1980).

  21. 21

    Bell, W. T. Archaeometry 18, 107–111 (1976).

  22. 22

    Bell, W. T. Archaeometry 21, 243–245 (1979).

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Institut für Kernchemie der Universität zu Köln, Zülpicher Strasse 47, 5000, Köln, 1, FRG

    • G. J. Hennig
    •  & W. Herr
  2. II. Physikalisches Institut der Universität zu Köln, Abteilung für Metallphysik, Zülpicher Strasse 77, 5000, Köln, 41, FRG

    • E. Weber
  3. Institut für Anthropologie der Universität Frankfurt, Siesmayerstrasse 70, 6000, Frankfurt am Main, FRG

    • N. I. Xirotiris

Authors

  1. Search for G. J. Hennig in:

  2. Search for W. Herr in:

  3. Search for E. Weber in:

  4. Search for N. I. Xirotiris in:

About this article

Publication history

Received

Accepted

Issue Date

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/292533a0

Further reading

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.