Old wood problem radiocarbon dating Chat room for mature adults ohio 2013

21 Jan

With the support of the National Science Foundation, Dr. Towner, colleagues and students will examine the 'old wood' problem in radiocarbon dating of archaeological sites in western Colorado and eastern Utah.The old wood problem is the tendency for radiocarbon (14C) determinations from wood charcoal to be significantly older than the contexts in which the charcoal is found.By collecting abundant samples in three areas along an environmental gradient, the project will assess the impacts of different environments on the age and availability of fuelwood resources.The construction of local multi-species multi-century tree-ring chronologies will be particularly important for dating of Fremont, Gateway Tradition, and Ute sites in western Colorado and eastern Utah, and may be critical in understanding Fremont/Ute relationships and Ute ethnogenesis.This proposed project uses both radiocarbon and tree-ring dating to examine the impacts of 'old wood' procurement on interpretations of the prehistoric and historical period occupations of western Colorado and eastern Utah.Previous research indicates that the magnitude of the old wood problem varies spatially, environmentally, and perhaps culturally.Alternatively, if our radiocarbon age estimations were in error for some reason, we had to assume that many other dates obtained from Egyptian materials were also suspect. Samples were also taken from our excavations at Giza where two largely intact bakeries were discovered in 1991.

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The field of radiocarbon dating has become a technical one far removed from the naive simplicity which characterized its initial introduction by Libby in the late 1940's.

In 1984 we thought it was unlikely that the pyramid builders consistently used centuries-old Egyptian wood as fuel in preparing mortar.

Ancient Egypt's population was compressed in the narrow confines of the Nile Valley with a tree cover, we assumed, that was sparse compared to less arid lands.

This proposed project will help us develop wood use models for the three groups and provide interpretive guidelines for dating the sites.

Thus, the intellectual merit of the project is to test environmental variability of radiocarbon dates, create new tree-ring chronologies for the area, develop new models of cultural wood use practices, and evaluate technological change as a factor in radiocarbon dating of sites in these areas.