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Author Topic: Carbon dating alternatives?  (Read 5188 times)

Offline FuzzyUK

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Carbon dating alternatives?
« on: 17/07/2010 07:54:26 »
I was looking at this article in which Zahi Hawass strongly disagrees with the use of carbon dating in archeology:
http://www.almasryalyoum.com/en/news/egyptian-archeologists-comment-carbon-dating

At the end of the article Hawass says, " .... We can use other kinds of methods like geoarcheology, which is very important, or DNA, or laser scanning, ...."

Is that true?


 

Offline JimBob

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Carbon dating alternatives?
« Reply #1 on: 18/07/2010 18:06:33 »
From reading the article it seems what Hawass is objecting to is the problems that arise between radiocarbon dating and the conventional theories. In the instances cited, his personal "apple cart" of a time line has been called into question which will cause him to need to revise some of his thinking.

Changing one's position on anything is inconvenient for an older scientist who has a large body of work that will be affected by any change in the foundations or theoretical basis. I have been around for a long time in science - 40+ years, and have seen this over and over again. I became sensitized to this when I first entered uni in the early '60s. (The issue was continental drift at that time.) Nothing in human nature has changed since then.
 

Offline frethack

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Carbon dating alternatives?
« Reply #2 on: 20/07/2010 17:01:22 »
Hmmm...interesting.  Hawass is a hothead, and basically rules over his digs with an iron fist.  I would like to say that I truly pity his crew, if it werent for the fact that the only real way to dig in Egypt is to dig with Hawass.  That being said, adjusting accepted dates by only a decade or so by using 14C seems rather sloppy.  Hawass is incorrect that the error bars are 100 years...a decent lab can get within 50 years, and a good lab can get 25 years.  It all depends upon pretreatment of the samples.  Either way, 25 years is not enough precision to move dates by only a decade...its within the margin of error.

14C (and U/Th) still remains the most accurate form of dating for the late Pleistocene/Holocene, and to dismiss it as "imaginary" is just silly.
 

Offline playpiano1980

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Carbon dating alternatives?
« Reply #3 on: 28/07/2010 15:36:09 »
[quote
14C (and U/Th) still remains the most accurate form of dating for the late Pleistocene/Holocene, and to dismiss it as "imaginary" is just silly.
[/quote]

This is a very valid point, majority of dating is completed with 14c, and I doubt that is going to change anytime soon.
 

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Carbon dating alternatives?
« Reply #3 on: 28/07/2010 15:36:09 »

 

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