When the archaeologists dated the sediments, they found that part of them are from between 100,000 and 47,000 years old, indicating that Neanderthal teeth found there in 1910 were younger than previously thought.
"We were sure from the outset that the deposits held some archaeological potential, but these dates indicate we have uncovered something exceptional," explained Pope.
Cartoon illustrating cosmogenic nuclide exposure ages. A glacier transports an erratic boulder, and then recedes, exposing it to cosmic rays.
Spallation reactions occur in minerals in the rocks upon bombardment by cosmic rays.
| Using cosmogenic nuclides in glacial geology | Sampling strategies cosmogenic nuclide dating | Difficulties in cosmogenic nuclide dating | Calculating an exposure age | Further Reading | References | Comments | Cosmogenic nuclide dating can be used to determine rates of ice-sheet thinning and recession, the ages of moraines, and the age of glacially eroded bedrock surfaces.
"In terms of the volume of sediment, archaeological richness and depth of time, there is nothing else like it known in the British Isles.Different isotopes are used for different lengths of times.This long period of applicability is an added advantage of cosmogenic nuclide dating.By sampling the rocks and separating certain minerals (such as quartz or pyroxene) and calculating the amount of these minerals (as a ratio to other, stable, minerals), we can work out how long the rock has been exposed on the earth’s surface.Cosmogenic nuclides are rare nuclides that form in surface rocks because of bombardment by high-energy cosmic rays.