Cave sediments and fossils as karst archives: the Urșilor and Muierilor caves, Romania

Marius ROBU et al.


During the last eight years an ongoing interdisciplinary research is being carried out at the Urşilor and Muierilor caves, Romania. This sedimentological, geomorphological and geochronological study aims at better understanding of the taphonomy of the MIS 3 fossil accumulations and their palaeoclimate context. The two sites contain complex types of fossil thanatocoenosis - in situ, secondary or mixt.

Numerous methods of investigation, typical for this type of multidisciplinary research were applied: AMS 14C direct dating on fossil bone (N = 42), U/Th dating of the relevant speleothems (N = 4), termoluminiscence for dating sediments (OSL; N=7), analysis of physical and chemical properties of cave sediments, rock magnetism, stable isotope analyses on the cave bear’s bone collagen (δ15N and δ13C; N=125), taphonomic methods for assessing the bone assemblage’s properties (MNI, NISP, ISD, long bone orientation etc.), high resolution osteometry, laser scanning of the cave bear’ bioglyphs etc.

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