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CitationOinonen, M., Haggren, G., Kaskela, A., Lavento, M., Palonen, V., & Tikkanen, P. (2009). Radiocarbon dating of iron: A northern contribution. Radiocarbon, 51(2), 873-881.
AbstractThe iron dating project Aikarauta has been launched in Finland. This paper presents the results of the preliminary investigations. The ability for radiocarbon measurement by accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) of iron in Finland has been demonstrated by using coal-produced iron as reference material. An elemental analyzer has been harnessed to measure the carbon content of small iron samples. In addition, we have hypothesized that a fingerprint of the limestone usage in the smelting process is the high Ca content of iron and slag. This has been examined by performing an iron smelting experiment with limestone as flux, by making elemental analyses of ingredients and the resulting slag and iron, and by a 14C analysis of the produced iron. It is possible that limestone dilutes the 14C contents of the produced iron, making its age determination challenging.