This is one of the very, very few sites in Mora County that have been excavated,” she said of the site reported by the state Department of Transportation.
A buffalo tooth rests in a tube of the Low Energy Plasma Radiocarbon Sampling machine located in the New Mexico Office of Archaeological Studies lab.
The first Featherweights batched in 1933 begin with the two-letter prefix 'AD'.
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Developed by the University of Liverpool, the new technique uses a Quadrupole Mass Spectrometer, which will reduce the time it takes to get carbon-dating results from a number of weeks to just a couple of days.
Even better than that, it can be used on site without needing to send samples away.
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Carbon dating determines the age of archaeological objects, or how long ago a creature died, by measuring the amount of Carbon -14 remaining inside.
The method is based on the theory that every living organism contains a small but constant proportion of this radioactive carbon isotope.
It also works on tiny samples – even a flake of ink or paint – and is considered a more accurate means of dating.“With standard radiocarbon dating, there’s a risk of contamination of carbonates.
They have to use acids and, within that process, you lose a large part of your sample and you destroy it,” Blinman explained.
“But we now have the ability to date incredibly small amounts of carbon – 40-100 millionths of a gram – and that is the real revolutionary aspect of this.