Radiocarbon dating of metal
Additional complications come from the burning of fossil fuels such as coal and oil, and from the above-ground nuclear tests done in the 1950s and 1960s.Hi guys, I got in a discussion on another site about carbon 14 dating a sword blade.I know you can only carbon date organic matter, but since steel is made with carbon that comes for organic matter we are not sure.Some think that you could at least tell when the wood was cut that was used for the smelting and forging.The resulting radiocarbon combines with atmospheric oxygen to form radioactive carbon dioxide, which is incorporated into plants by photosynthesis; animals then acquire in a sample from a dead plant or animal such as a piece of wood or a fragment of bone provides information that can be used to calculate when the animal or plant died.The older a sample is, the less (the period of time after which half of a given sample will have decayed) is about 5,730 years, the oldest dates that can be reliably measured by this process date to around 50,000 years ago, although special preparation methods occasionally permit accurate analysis of older samples.
Spanish and Portuguese scientists have now introduced a technique for dating artifacts made of copper and bronze.I would think you would need to know the kind of tree and how it was forged to know the amount of carbon 14 in it when it was made. No you can't date the steel, but you might be able to date anything on the handle if it was made of wood or of silk/string.I believe that dating steel/metal is done by the amound of impurities in it, usually the older stuff has more crap in it because of smelting techneiques.These materials range from low-carbon wrought irons to medium to very high-carbon steels and cast irons.Artifact dates range from several hundred years ago to several thousand years ago.
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