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VERA Seminar

Dating fired-clay ceramics by rehydroxylation – an evolving method for absolute dating in archaeology

Moritz Numrich, University of Vienna, Faculty of Physics, Isotope Research and Nuclear Physics

Absolute dating is the ultimate tool to help understand the transition of human civilisations from prehistoric to historic times. Ceramics is the most abundant material recovered from archaeological excavations, and therefore its direct dating would be of great value. Dating by rehydroxylation of ceramics potentially is a method that could resolve prominent discrepancies between chronologies derived by science and by the humanities. The method was first suggested in 2009 by British scientists who found that the mass gain of fired clay material by chemically bonded hydroxyl water strictly follows a power law with time (t1/4). So far, a few groups in the world started to investigate this new dating tool, and the method is still in its infancy.

In the first part of this talk, a review of the method and its development will be given. The second part will focus on preliminary experiments performed at the VERA laboratory in collaboration with the Atominstitut.

Donnerstag, 13.03.2014    16:30 Uhr
Währinger Str. 17 (Kavalierstrakt, Zugang durch den Hof)
1090 Wien


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