U-Pb Isotopic Age of the StW 573 Hominid from Sterkfontein, South Africa
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Sterkfontein cave, South Africa, has yielded an australopith skeleton, StW 573, whose completenesshas excited great interest in paleoanthropology. StW 573, or“Little Foot,”was found 25 meters belowthe surface in the Silberberg Grotto.238U-206Pb measurements on speleothems immediately aboveand below the fossil remains, corrected for initial234U disequilibrium, yield ages of 2.17T0.17 millionyears ago (Ma) and2:24þ0:09−0:07Ma, respectively, indicating an age for StW 573 of close to 2.2 Ma.This age is in contrast to an age of ~3.3 Ma suggested by magnetochronology and ages of ~4 Ma basedon10Be and26Al, but it is compatible with a faunal age range of 4 to 2 Ma.
Science, Vol. 314, no. 5805 (2006-12-08).
Walker, Joanne; Cliff, Robert A.; and Latham, Alfred G., "U-Pb Isotopic Age of the StW 573 Hominid from Sterkfontein, South Africa" (2006). KIP Articles. 5513.