Posted by Christoph Huber on June 29, 1999 at 17:05:37:
In Reply to: Re: Why the difference? posted by Yon Bard on June 29, 1999 at 15:40:44:
I was (and still am!!!) bothered about the same questions but in the meantime I constructed the following "working-hypothesis":
"Washing" should in this case probably be addressed as soaking (for example in seawater) and doesn't actually mean removing something (dirt) but adding something (more C). And because seawater seems to have another (lesser) ratio of 14C then the terrestrial wool of a modern carpet, in consequence the ratio of 14C in the whole sample diminishes, which results in a higher tested age.
Now I wonder whether there is a changed ratio of 14C in the soot/smoke compared to the used fuel. Perhaps 14C has a bigger tendency to disappear during the different processes in the fire then the other isotopes. If this would be the case (is there any chemist?) this would explain the (apparently) changed age of a contaminated sample.
As I mentioned above this is my construction and I don't know whether it has much to do with reality, but perhaps it provokes further thoughts...
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