Dating techniques prehistoric
Then they treat the sample with a strong acid and a strong base and finally burn the sample in a small glass chamber to produce carbon dioxide gas to analyze its C-14 content.Rowe's new method, called "non-destructive carbon dating," eliminates sampling, the destructive acid-base washes, and burning. Sumer in Mesopotamia, the Indus valley civilisation and ancient Egypt were the first civilisations to develop their own scripts, and to keep historical records; this took place already during the early Bronze Age.Neighbouring civilizations were the first to follow.
One popular theory about the Paleolithic cave paintings proposes that sites were chosen based on the acoustics in the caves.In the new method, scientists place an entire artifact in a special chamber with a plasma, an electrically charged gas similar to gases used in big-screen plasma television displays.The gas slowly and gently oxidizes the surface of the object to produce carbon dioxide for C-14 analysis without damaging the surface, he said.Although it sometimes requires taking minute samples of an object, even that damage may be unacceptable for some artifacts.
The new method does not involve removing a sample of the object.Both the conventional and new carbon dating methods can determine the age of objects as far back as 45,000 to 50,000 years, Rowe said.