Bruce D. Owen
In order to estimate the apparent age of seawater (R) and the corresponding local offset from the global marine radiocarbon calibration curve (delta-R) on the far south coast of Peru for 2 periods in the past, 6 pairs of associated marine shell and unburned wood samples from archaeological excavations at Loreto Viejo were 14C dated. Three pairs from about cal AD 1280-1380 indicated larger and more variable delta R estimates than have been obtained for other periods in nearby regions, suggesting that delta-R may vary considerably over space and/or time. Three pairs from about 1870-1680 cal BC yielded consistent shell dates, but only one reasonable terrestrial data and delta-R estimate, probably due to stratigraphic mixing in antiquity. The one early delta-R estimate falls slightly outside the range of the later ones, suggesting either still greater spatial variability in delta-R, or some temporal variability.
Bruce D. Owen - Department of Anthropology and Linguistics, Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, CA 94928, USA
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Research in Peru by Bruce Owen
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Revised: 1 June 2005