We report new optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dates from the Central European sites of Kůlna, Stránská skála, Bohunice, Vedrovice V, Vedrovice Ia, Moravský Krumlov IV and Dzeravá skala, which date to the Middle-Upper Palaeolithic transition period. There are important unresolved questions surrounding the timing of archaeological events during this crucial period in European prehistory. Archaeological layers from this time period are at the limits of the 14C method and most of these sites lack good chronology. The results of this dating project suggest that some parts of the current chronological framework may need to be revised. Although in many cases our OSL results are broadly consistent with previous dates obtained by 14C, in other cases they reveal unexpected surprises. One OSL result from Kůlna opens up the possibility that Neanderthals may have survived in this part of Europe past the 30ka bp mark as has been argued for several Neanderthal sites in southern Europe. The large Szeletian assemblage recovered from Vedrovice V may be significantly older than previously thought, which undermines the idea that the Szeletian culture is exclusively an Early Upper Palaeolithic industry. More dating research is needed to confirm the more controversial results of this research.
- Anatomically modern humans
- Central europe
- Middle-upper palaeolithic transition
- Optically stimulated luminescence