Radiocarbon dating rock art

Similarly, some organic material may be extracted, but in amounts too small to attempt a date.

Another problem is that the rock upon which a painting occurs may itself contain significant amounts of organic matter, enough in some cases to invalidate any attempted date.

This technique has provided useful constraints on the ages of rock art in a few cases.The major advancement that laid the groundwork for the later dating revolution was the development of accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS).That innovation led to a drastic reduction in the amount of carbon necessary for a radiocarbon date - from a few grams to less than 1 mg of carbon.I will close with one last problem that must be overcome for the final validation of all techniques for dating rock art.It can be summarized by a quote here from the book, A second opinion was going to be necessary, no matter how reliable … There was always some possibility of error in such research, and the standard operating procedure for an important experiment was and still is to have it repeated in another laboratory.

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