Posted by Steve Price on June 29, 1999 at 17:04:55:
In Reply to: Re: Why the difference? posted by Yon Bard on June 29, 1999 at 15:40:44:
If the major source of smoke within the tent is animal dung, then the potential contamination consists of anything the animals ingested but didn't absorb plus anything that got picked up along with the animal dung when it was gathered plus anything that got into it while it was drying. It would obviously include celllulose from plant material (I assume that the animals whose dung was used were vegetarians), plus part of the dirt that they ingested with it, plus some dirt that was collected with it. If the dirt included volcanic ash, and I don't know that it did, this could be a serious source of error. If it included some of the more common carbonaceous minerals, which seems very likely to me, then the error would depend on the nature and amount.
I don't mean to be my stubborn self about this, but there are people out there who did these analyses. They really know what they did, and presumably know what possible sources of errors exist and how to deal with them if it can be done. Stonewalling would get them hooted out of any scientific assembly. I am not saying that I couldn't be persuaded to get enthusiastic about C-14 dating of rugs if the information on which to base such a conclusion were made available. But so far, at least, that hasn't happened. If and when it does, I'll lead the cheering for this revolution. Until then, it doesn't exist in my world.
Post a Followup