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Results and Methods in the Radiocarbon Dating of Pottery

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 July 2016

R. E. M. Hedges
Affiliation:
Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art, Oxford University, 6 Keble Road, Oxford OX1 3QJ, UK
Chen Tiemei
Affiliation:
Department of Archaeology, Peking University, 100871 Beijing, Peoples Republic of China
R. A. Housley
Affiliation:
Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art, Oxford University, 6 Keble Road, Oxford OX1 3QJ, UK
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Abstract

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The main problem with dating pottery by radiocarbon is that many different carbon sources, of different radiocarbon age, may contribute to the potsherd carbon content. Also, the process of firing is liable to destroy information that might help separate possible sources. We describe several pottery dating projects in which we have dated separate fractions (such as humics, lipids and classes of residual carbon). Although in some cases consistency between results is sufficient to accept that this approach can give a credible date, in other cases, no date has been possible, and general conclusions are difficult to make.

Type
V. Archaeological Applications
Copyright
Copyright © The American Journal of Science 

References

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