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Rock surface luminescence dating of prehistoric rock art from central Iberia

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Abstract
Rock art paintings are notoriously difficult to date numerically using established geochronological techniques. Recently, the ability of luminescence dating to provide reliable rock surface burial ages has been demonstrated in various geological and archaeological settings. In this paper, we make use of the cross-cutting relationship between a rockfall event and two rock art paintings of Levantine and Schematic styles in Iberian Peninsula (Villar del Humo, Spain) to constrain, for the first time, the age of these paintings by dating the rockfall event using rock surface luminescence dating. Rock slabs were cut from the buried faces of three talus boulders in the field, and were further cored and sliced in the laboratory. The infrared stimulated luminescence (IRSL) signals were then measured from the rock slice fragments as a function of depth into the rock to determine the degree of IRSL signals resetting in the boulder surfaces prior to the rockfall event. The observed IRSL-depth profiles indicate that while the post-IR IRSL signal measured at 225°C (pIRIR225) was poorly bleached at the surface of the boulders, the IRSL signal measured at 50°C (IR50) was sufficiently reset up to a depth of ~1.6 mm prior to burial. The effective dose rate to the surface of the boulders was determined by modelling the variation of beta and gamma dose rates at the interface of the boulders with the underlying sediment. The uncorrected IR50 age of 1.6±0.2 ka was calculated by dividing the average surface equivalent dose (De) value by the total dose rate. This age was corrected using both conventional and field-to-laboratory saturation approaches to yield ages of 2.7±0.3 and 2.9±0.3 ka, respectively. These ages are indistinguishable within the error limits. We conclude that the Schematic style rock art at Villar del Humo is younger than ~2.9 ka, while the Levantine style rock art at this site may have been created before ~2.9 ka ago.
Keywords
IRSL, Rock surface luminescence dating, Luminescence-depth profile, Rock art, Schematic and Levantine style

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Citation

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MLA
Karimi Moayed, Nasrin, et al. “Rock Surface Luminescence Dating of Prehistoric Rock Art from Central Iberia.” AGU Fall Meeting 2021, Abstracts, 2021.
APA
Karimi Moayed, N., Sohbati, R., Murray, A., Rades, E., Fattahi, M., Lopez, J., … De Grave, J. (2021). Rock surface luminescence dating of prehistoric rock art from central Iberia. AGU Fall Meeting 2021, Abstracts. Presented at the AGU Fall Meeting 2021, New Orleans, LA.
Chicago author-date
Karimi Moayed, Nasrin, Reza Sohbati, Andrew Murray, Eike Rades, Morteza Fattahi, Juan Lopez, Dimitri Vandenberghe, and Johan De Grave. 2021. “Rock Surface Luminescence Dating of Prehistoric Rock Art from Central Iberia.” In AGU Fall Meeting 2021, Abstracts.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Karimi Moayed, Nasrin, Reza Sohbati, Andrew Murray, Eike Rades, Morteza Fattahi, Juan Lopez, Dimitri Vandenberghe, and Johan De Grave. 2021. “Rock Surface Luminescence Dating of Prehistoric Rock Art from Central Iberia.” In AGU Fall Meeting 2021, Abstracts.
Vancouver
1.
Karimi Moayed N, Sohbati R, Murray A, Rades E, Fattahi M, Lopez J, et al. Rock surface luminescence dating of prehistoric rock art from central Iberia. In: AGU Fall Meeting 2021, Abstracts. 2021.
IEEE
[1]
N. Karimi Moayed et al., “Rock surface luminescence dating of prehistoric rock art from central Iberia,” in AGU Fall Meeting 2021, Abstracts, New Orleans, LA, 2021.
@inproceedings{8759341,
  abstract     = {{Rock art paintings are notoriously difficult to date numerically using established geochronological techniques. Recently, the ability of luminescence dating to provide reliable rock surface burial ages has been demonstrated in various geological and archaeological settings. In this paper, we make use of the cross-cutting relationship between a rockfall event and two rock art paintings of Levantine and Schematic styles in Iberian Peninsula (Villar del Humo, Spain) to constrain, for the first time, the age of these paintings by dating the rockfall event using rock surface luminescence dating. 

Rock slabs were cut from the buried faces of three talus boulders in the field, and were further cored and sliced in the laboratory. The infrared stimulated luminescence (IRSL) signals were then measured from the rock slice fragments as a function of depth into the rock to determine the degree of IRSL signals resetting in the boulder surfaces prior to the rockfall event. The observed IRSL-depth profiles indicate that while the post-IR IRSL signal measured at 225°C (pIRIR225) was poorly bleached at the surface of the boulders, the IRSL signal measured at 50°C (IR50) was sufficiently reset up to a depth of ~1.6 mm prior to burial. The effective dose rate to the surface of the boulders was determined by modelling the variation of beta and gamma dose rates at the interface of the boulders with the underlying sediment. The uncorrected IR50 age of 1.6±0.2 ka was calculated by dividing the average surface equivalent dose (De) value by the total dose rate. This age was corrected using both conventional and field-to-laboratory saturation approaches to yield ages of 2.7±0.3 and 2.9±0.3 ka, respectively. These ages are indistinguishable within the error limits. We conclude that the Schematic style rock art at Villar del Humo is younger than ~2.9 ka, while the Levantine style rock art at this site may have been created before ~2.9 ka ago.}},
  author       = {{Karimi Moayed, Nasrin and Sohbati, Reza and Murray, Andrew and Rades, Eike and Fattahi, Morteza and Lopez, Juan and Vandenberghe, Dimitri and De Grave, Johan}},
  booktitle    = {{AGU Fall Meeting 2021, Abstracts}},
  keywords     = {{IRSL,Rock surface luminescence dating,Luminescence-depth profile,Rock art,Schematic and Levantine style}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  location     = {{New Orleans, LA}},
  pages        = {{1}},
  title        = {{Rock surface luminescence dating of prehistoric rock art from central Iberia}},
  year         = {{2021}},
}