Question: How can we use carbon dating for pottery?

Eversheds new technique allows researchers to directly radiocarbon date animal fat residue on pottery. His team is able to isolate compounds from samples of pottery that weigh as little as two grams and to detect the minuscule amount of fatty-acid carbon remaining in the residues left by milk, cheese, or meat.

Can carbon dating be used on pottery?

For radiocarbon dating to be possible, the material must once have been part of a living organism. This means that things like stone, metal and pottery cannot usually be directly dated by this means unless there is some organic material embedded or left as a residue.

How do archeologists date pottery?

The researchers have developed the first direct method for dating pottery by examining animal fats preserved inside the ceramic walls. Archaeologists have long dated sites by the visual appearance of pottery fragments found around the site. Pottery is essential for classifying archaeological sites.

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