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Dr. Christopher Ramsey presents at 7th International Symposium on 14C and Archaeology at Ghent

April 8, 2013

Dr. Christopher Ramsey presents at the 7th International Symposium on 14C and Archaeology at Ghent April 8-12, 2013.  

Title: Radiocarbon Reservoir and Stable Isotope Offsets in human remains from the Baikal Region.

With listed authors: C. Bronk Ramsey, R. Schulting, V.I. Bazaliiskii, O.I. Goriunova and A.W. Weber.

Dr. Ramsey's paper was the final talk in a conference where there had been much discussion of freshwater reservoir effects.

An update from Dr. Ramsey: Freshwater reservoir effects in human bone samples for radiocarbon dating are becoming a topic of considerable interest. Although in some regions, there seems to be very little effect on most human material, in others, such as parts of Germany and Central Asia, there seems to be huge local variation in freshwater reservoir effects - variation which is not always apparent in the stable isotope ratios. It seems to depend strongly on the particular local circumstances: the radiocarbon levels in different water-courses and the particular food in the diet. With the particularly well documented case of the Baikal region, it seems that we are lucky since the material exhibits a much more clear-cut pattern - perhaps because there is one dominant source of freshwater.

There was considerable interest in the approaches we have taken to modelling the dietary data and there is certainly scope for a methodological paper that explains how these approaches can be applied more widely.

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