• Radiocarbon Concentrations of Wood Ash Calcite: Potential for Dating

      Regev, Lior; Eckmeier, Eileen; Mintz, Eugenia; Weiner, Steve; Boaretto, Elisabetta (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2011-01-01)
      Ash is formed when plant calcium oxalate crystals (CaC2O4) decompose to form calcite (CaCO3). We found that ash does retain the original calcium oxalate radiocarbon concentration, but in addition, there is another minor 14C source. This is shown by the presence of a consistent small shift in the pMC and 13C levels when comparing cellulose and ash from modern and archaeological woods. Possible mechanisms for 14C exchange during combustion or due to diagenesis are considered in order to define parameters for identifying better-preserved wood ash samples.