May 21, 2009

New archeological dating method created

British scientists say they have developed a new technique called rehydroxylation for dating archaeological objects by using fire and water.

Researchers at the Universities of Manchester and Edinburgh said their simple method promises to become a significant technique for dating ceramic materials, just as radiocarbon dating has become for organic materials such as bone or wood.

The scientists said the new technique can be used on fired clay ceramics, such as bricks, tile and pottery.

Working with the Museum of London, the team successfully dated brick samples from Roman, medieval and modern periods with what they said was remarkable accuracy. They said their technique can be used to determine the age of objects up to 2,000 years old, but they said it has the potential to be used to date objects around 10,000 years old.

The new technique is reported in the online early edition of the Proceedings of the Royal Society A.