Radioactive carbon dating demonstration

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“We can flake off a piece” and date it, Blinman said.“If the ink is old, then it’s real.”Rowe is probably the world’s foremost authority on radiocarbon rock art dating.Most of them that I’ve encountered are inorganic pigments and that’s where the importance of the small sample comes in.”Blinman adds that, under the best of circumstances, standard radiocarbon dating requires 30 milligrams of carbon.Rock art pigments don’t have that much carbon in them.This is one of the very, very few sites in Mora County that have been excavated,” she said of the site reported by the state Department of Transportation.

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In Rowe’s non-destructive method, an entire artifact goes into in a vacuum chamber with a plasma.The tooth was found at a site near Coyote Creek north of Mora.The machine is used to date artifacts without damaging to the sample.“The experience of the artifact is no different than your body temperature or, worst case, Phoenix on a summer day,” he said.The plasmas in Rowe’s machine are generated with radio frequencies, rather than electricity, and work like a cleaning agent to scrub off the CO2.“We have to use the ultra pure gases because any contamination from modern, atmospheric CO2 is going to screw up the data.

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