Radioactive Dating of an Artifact: A Comparative Approach

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Author(s) Gesa, F. N | Songden, S.D | Aondoakaa, S.I
Pages 674-682
Volume 3
Issue 10
Date October, 2014
Keywords Carbon-14, Radioactive Dating, Artifact
Abstract

The methods through which ages of artifacts can be unraveled have been highlighted - most notably carbon-14 dating. Carbon-14 dating is a way of measuring the age of certain archeological artifacts of biological origin up to 5x105 years old (BBC, 2005). By employing this dating method, the researchers determined the age of a semi-prehistoric bone (antler). The Liquid gas Scintillation Counter (LSC) - Ansitron-1300 was used to monitor the activity of beta-particles in the bone. The mean beta-particle count was then obtained to be 14.75cpm. From the experimental results obtained and further comparative calculations using a modified Activity-Time equation, A(t)=15exp{(-1.2097x10-4)t} and Libby’s equation; t = -T1/2ln{1+ (Δ/1000)}/0.693; the dates of (138.96 ± 0.48) and (139.24 ± xxx) years respectively were obtained for the bone (antler). Thus, the results agree within the ambit of experimental research. Hence the approach provides an effective method for dating radioactive artifacts of biological origin. The research therefore finds useful applications in judicial verdicts to unlock land related disputes in which human artifacts could be recovered from involved sites. Moreover, the equivalent absorbed dose rate, H’ of the laboratory was also estimated to be 2.84 rems/week. This is however, higher than the 0.25 rems/week Maximum Permissible Dose (MPD) recommended for workers in radiation laboratories by the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP, 2007). Adequate shield is thus; emphasized for the personnel working in this laboratory.

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