Dating archaeological objects
No wonder, then, that so much effort has been devoted to developing increasingly sophisticated and precise methods for determining when events happened in the past.In archaeology, dating techniques fall into two broad categories: chronometric (sometimes called “absolute”) and relative.The most suitable types of sample for radiocarbon dating are charcoal and well-preserved wood, although leather, cloth, paper, peat, shell and bone can also be used.Because of the somewhat short half-life of 14C, radiocarbon dating is not applicable to samples with ages greater than about 50,000 years, because the remaining concentration would be too small for accurate measurement.The simple method promises to be as significant a technique for dating ceramic materials as radiocarbon dating has become for organic materials such as bone or wood.A team from The University of Manchester and The University of Edinburgh has discovered a new technique which they call 'rehydroxylation dating' that can be used on fired clay ceramics like bricks, tile and pottery.
This continues over its lifetime causing it to increase in weight – the older the material, the greater the weight gain.The most suitable type of sample for thermoluminescence dating is pottery, though the date gotten will be for the last time the object was fired. 711 Concord Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138 (617) 876-3691 FAX (617) 661-0148 International Chemical Analysis, Inc. 50 Denison Drive Guilford, CT 06437 (203) 453-3299 University of Hawai'i Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology 2525 Correa Road Honolulu, HI 96822 (808) 956-8761 FAX (808) 956-3188 University of Washington Luminescence Laboratory, DH-05 Seattle, WA 98195 (206) 543-1506 FAX (206) 543-3285 American Council of Independent Laboratories 1629 K Street, NW Washington, DC 20006 (202) 887-5872 FAX (202)887-0021 E-mail: [email protected] of independent testing, research and inspection laboratories. 101 West Edison Avenue, Suite 250 Appleton, WI 54915 (920) 749-3040 FAX (920) 749-3046 Testing and analysis for the pulp, paper, and allied industries. FAO/IAEA International Symposium on Managing Soils for Food Security and Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation, Vienna, Austria 23-27 July 2012 Hua, Quan. Radiocarbon: A chronological tool for the recent past.Application of this method of age determination is limited to those periods of pottery and fired clay availability ( from about 6000 BC to the present). Radiocarbon WEB-info Provides a large international listing of laboratories that do radiocarbon dating; information on radiocarbon dating; publications and references; and educational materials. The Smithsonian Institution, Museum Conservation Institute (MCI), gives no endorsements for any products, materials or services mentioned in this pamphlet and is not responsible for problems from their use or misuse.MCI does not make any warranty, expressed or implied; does not assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information or process disclosed; nor represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights.If any organizations or other pertinent information has been inadvertently excluded please contact MCI.
The technique involves measuring the mass of a sample of ceramic and then heating it to around 500 degrees Celsius in a furnace, which removes the water.