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SAN FRANCISCO, March 23, 2010 — Scientists today described development of a new method to determine the age of ancient mummies, old artwork, and other relics without causing damage to these treasures of global cultural heritage.
Rowe and his colleagues used the technique to analyze the ages of about 20 different organic substances, including wood, charcoal, leather, rabbit hair, a bone with mummified flesh attached, and a 1,350-year-old Egyptian weaving.
The results match those of conventional carbon dating techniques, they say.
Although it sometimes requires taking minute samples of an object, even that damage may be unacceptable for some artifacts.
The new method does not involve removing a sample of the object.
Then they treat the sample with a strong acid and a strong base and finally burn the sample in a small glass chamber to produce carbon dioxide gas to analyze its C-14 content.
Rowe’s new method, called “non-destructive carbon dating,” eliminates sampling, the destructive acid-base washes, and burning.A professor emeritus at Texas A&M University College Station, Rowe teaches at a branch of the university in Qatar.Traditional carbon dating involves removing and burning small samples of the object.The chamber could be sized to accommodate large objects, such as works of art and even the Shroud of Turin, which some believe to be the burial cloth of Jesus Christ, Rowe said.He acknowledged, however, that it would take a significant amount of data to convince museum directors, art conservators, and others that the new method causes no damage to such priceless objects The scientists are currently refining the technique.Conventional carbon dating estimates the age of an artifact based on its content of carbon-14 (C-14), a naturally occurring, radioactive form of carbon.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating