Magister Artium (Master of Arts) (The University of Cologne, Germany)
Persona: I am a passionate archaeologist with more than eight years experience as archaeological excavation director, I led 22 excavations covering different excavation techniques and all time periods, from various stone age periods, over metal ages, Roman and Medieval periods as well as from the 17th -19th century. In Germany, I specialized on lithic technology, in particular on the Mesolithic period and produced my Master’s Thesis on this topic.
In Australia, I professionally conducted archaeological and heritage assessments as well as Ethnographic Studies. Within my PhD thesis (Yates 2015) at Southern Cross University, I examined the feasibility of ‘Radiocarbon dating residues form stone tools’. Two aspects made this appears a worthwhile research direction: 1) Accelerate Mass Spectrometry technology requires only 5 microgram carbon for radiocarbon dating, 2) Some lithic assemblages contain more than 50% of stone tools with use-related residues.
I demonstrated the feasibility of the method under laboratory conditions (Yates et al. 2014) and consecutively obtained first encouraging results from archaeological tools. Wooden residues from stone tools have been dated for the first time and resinous residues from a surface site tool dated within expected time frame (Yates et al. 2015a). – Residue radiocarbon dating research is significant as, once established, it enables archaeologists with a new direct dating technique. This includes also the dating of stone tools from open sites, which often have no further dating possibility. Because contamination is an issue with such small sample size, I developed a sampling protocol from field work onwards (Yates et al. 2015b). These sampling suggestions aim to support researchers to avoid unintentionally introducing contamination into the sample and thus enhance accurate residue dating.
At present, I am extending my knowledge on global residue radiocarbon dating.
My further research focuses on the archaeology of the Northern Rivers area in north-eastern New South Wales where I analyze stone artefact assemblages. One aim is to resolve questions about site function and raw material acquisition. Lithic raw material sources are mapped and assessed to ascertain percussion quality. Stone tool analyses gives insights into lithic technology and raw material exploitation.
Yates, A., Smith, A.M., Parr, J., Scheffers, A., Joannes-Boyau, R., 2014. AMS dating of ancient plant residues from experimental stone tools: a pilot study, Journal of Archaeological Science 49, 595–602.
Yates, A., Smith, A.M., Bertuch, F., Gehlen, B., Gramsch, B., Heinen, M., Joannes-Boyau, R., Scheffers, A., Parr, J., Pawlik, A., 2015a. Radiocarbon-dating adhesive and wooden residues from stone tools by Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS): challenges and insights encountered in a case study. Journal of Archaeological Science 61, 45–58.
Yates, A.B., Smith, A.M., Bertuch, F., 2015b. Residue radiocarbon AMS dating review and preliminary sampling protocol suggestions, Journal of Archaeological Science 61, 223–234.
Yates, A.B., 2015. Radiocarbon dating residues from stone tools. Unpublished PhD thesis, Southern Cross University, Lismore, Australia.