Paleoclimate and Intersite Correlations from Late Pleistocene/Holocene Cave Sites: Results from Southern Europe

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During the last 10 years or so, magnetic susceptibility (MS) measurements of cave sediments from archaeological sites have been used for intrasite correlation and paleoclimate estimation. This is possible, if the context is appropriate, because the MS of these sediments result from climate processes active outside caves causing variations in magnetic properties of the sediments ultimately accumulating inside of caves. Once deposited, these materials are preserved, and their stratigraphy provides a climate proxy that can be extracted. Here, using the magnetosusceptibility event and cyclostratigraphy (MSEC) method and graphic correlation, we present a paleoclimatic framework for the last 40,000 years for southern Europe and demonstrate the intersite correlation power of the method. Our preliminary result for southern Europe represents climate fluctuations from ∼43,000 to ∼3,000 yr B.P. (we use here uncalibrated ages). The results correlate well with independent climate indicators, and because these data are robust, they can be used in relative dating. © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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Geoarchaeology - An International Journal

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