Aitken science based dating in archaeology
The calcium carbonate was then converted back to again, dried, and converted to carbon by passing it over heated magnesium.Hydrochloric acid was added to the resulting mixture of magnesium, magnesium oxide and carbon, and after repeated boiling, filtering, and washing with distilled water, the carbon was ground with a mortar and pestle and a half gram sample taken, weighed, and combusted.These treatments can damage the structural integrity of the sample and remove significant volumes of material, so the exact treatment decided on will depend on the sample size and the amount of carbon needed for the chosen measurement technique.Wood contains cellulose, lignin, and other compounds; of these, cellulose is the least likely to have exchanged carbon with the sample's environment, so it is common to reduce a wood sample to just the cellulose component before testing.It is based on the fact that radiocarbon ( in a sample from a dead plant or animal such as a piece of wood or a fragment of bone provides information that can be used to calculate when the animal or plant died.The older a sample is, the less is about 5,730 years, the oldest dates that can be reliably measured by this process date to around 50,000 years ago, although special preparation methods occasionally permit accurate analysis of older samples.However, this can reduce the volume of the sample down to 20% of the original size, so testing of the whole wood is often performed as well.
Samples for dating need to be converted into a form suitable for measuring the content; this can mean conversion to gaseous, liquid, or solid form, depending on the measurement technique to be used.
A rough guide follows; the weights given, in grams, are for dry samples, and assume that a visual inspection has been done to remove foreign objects.
Wiki Journal of Science is an open-access, free-to-publish, Wikipedia-integrated academic journal for science, mathematics, engineering and technology topics. The method was developed in the late 1940s by Willard Libby, who received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work in 1960.
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