J Archaeol Sci reported extremely interesting dates on a calcite layer covering a pictograph at the Toca da Bastiana rock shelter within the Serra da Capivara National Park, Piaui, Brazil. Thermoluminescence and electron paramagnetic resonance ages indicate that humans were present in Brazil prior to 35 ky ago. We report radiocarbon dates for rock paintings at the same rock shelter and other nearby shelters that contradict Watanabe et al.’s results.
Around the same time, Steelman et al. (2002) secured a 14 C age of 3730±90 BP on organic material in the same painting that Watanabe et al. (2003) used in their TL and EPR dating. In addition, Steelman et al. (2003) obtained a minimum age of 2490±30 years BP for an oxalate accretion overlying the same painting. Radiocarbon dates on paint residues from four other images in the same shelter were 1880±60, 2280±110, 2970±300 and 3320±50 BP.
Radiocarbon dates on paint residues from four other images in the same shelter were 1880±60, 2280±110, 2970±300 and 3320±50 BP. Dates on four other paintings from nearby shelters yielded ages of only a few thousand years: at Toca do Sitio do Meio, 2700±110 BP; at Pedra Furada, 2120±110 and 3570±50 BP; and at Toca do Extreme, 1230±50 BP (Rowe and Steelman 2003). Later, 14 C analysis was used to date thin calcite precipitates covering paintings that were cross-dated using uranium-series disequilibrium in three rock shelters (Toca da Bastiana, Toca do Serrote de Moendas, and Toca da Gameleirinha).