Thursday 3 May 2012

Well! It's About Time! Tom Higham Raises [or Lowers] the Bar [Chronologically Speaking] for the Middle to Upper Palaeolithic Transition

See? Sit in front of my news ticker long enough and something good will come of it. Take, for example, today's news from in which Tom Higham's 14C dating exploits are highlighted. He's the son of Charles and late last year he published a new date for the fossil from Kent's Cavern. It caused a big stir 'cause it made that fossil the earliest inhabitant of that part of Europe.
Tom Higham and one of numerous dates. Floozy! 
It seems Tom is initiating a revolution in dating the European Middle to Upper Palaeolithic transition. It may, in the end, upset a few people. [Love that!]
     And here's some insider information that my sibling subversives will love. Apparently 
He thinks that Neanderthals probably went extinct gradually. His work re-dating Neanderthal sites in Croatia and the Caucasus suggests that Neanderthals disappeared from these regions by about 40,000 years ago. Other researchers say that the last Neanderthals may have eked out a living in the Iberian peninsula until as recently as 24,000 years ago, although Higham and his former graduate student, Rachel Wood, have unpublished work that questions that timing.
PLoS one! PLoS one! PLoS one! Ooh! Ooh! They'll publish that in a heart-beat! No waiting! Pleeeeeeeez, Tom! Rachel? Who cares about Nature? A new species of Fame awaits those who publish in PLoS one.
     Sorry. Couldn't resist.