• Are the 14C Dates of the Dead Sea Scrolls Affected by Castor Oil Contamination?

      Carmi, Israel (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2002-01-01)
      The paper "The effects of possible contamination on the radiocarbon dates of the Dead Sea Scrolls I: castor oil" by Rasmussen et al. (2001) is discussed. Detailed analysis of the extant dates of the Dead Sea Scrolls suggests that the pretreatment of the samples was adequate. Errors and omissions in the paper are discussed and the implications of the experiment of Rasmussen et al. (2001) are questioned.
    • Radiocarbon and Stable Isotope Analyses of Archaeological Bone Consolidated with Hide Glue

      Takahashi, C. M.; Nelson, D. E.; Southon, J. S. (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2002-01-01)
      We tested a simple method for removing a collagen-based glue preservative from bone destined for radiocarbon and stable isotope analyses. The method is sufficient for bone samples from which only stable isotope measurements are required. For 14C dating, such samples of age less than about 10 ka can be adequately dated, but for older samples, the circumstances must be carefully evaluated.
    • Reservoir Corrections for Marine Samples from the South Atlantic Coast, Santa Catarina State, Brazil

      Eastoe, C. J.; Fish, S.; Fish, P.; Gaspar, M. Dulce; Long, A. (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2002-01-01)
      Coeval shell and charcoal from Santa Catarina State, Brazil, differ systematically in 14C content, indicating a reservoir effect in marine samples. For modern samples (AD 1939-2000) and archeological samples (2500-1595 BP), the mean 14C age difference between marine and atmospheric carbon is 220 +/20 years, the marine carbon being older. For three samples dated AD 1939-1944, a distinct reservoir correction of 510 +/10 years is also observed. The ages of archeological shell samples from Jabuticabeira may be corrected by subtracting 220 years from the apparent 14C ages.
    • The Use of Raman Spectroscopy to Monitor the Removal of Humic Substances from Charcoal: Quality Control for 14C Dating of Charcoal

      Alon, Dani; Mintz, Genia; Cohen, Illit; Weiner, Steve; Boaretto, Elisabetta (Department of Geosciences, The University of Arizona, 2002-01-01)
      One of the largest sources of uncertainty in radiocarbon dating stems from the sample pretreatment procedures used to minimize contamination. A major source of carbon contamination in charcoal from archaeological sites is humic substances carried by groundwater. Here we present a method, independent of 14C dating itself, to evaluate the effectiveness of the cleaning procedure of charcoal. Raman spectra of mixtures of humic substances (HS) and laboratory prepared charcoal indicate that Raman spectroscopy can be used as a semi-quantitative measure of the amount of humic substances associated with archaeological charcoal. Raman spectral analysis of archaeological charcoal samples subjected to different cleaning regimes supports this contention. Such measurements can provide quality control for charcoal preparation procedures and may assist in the interpretation of carbon-dating results.