Re: Interpretation of C14 results

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Posted by Yon Bard on July 04, 1999 at 08:25:31:

In Reply to: Re: Interpretation of C14 results posted by Henry Sadovsky on July 03, 1999 at 23:03:42:


: Y.B: I am not a betting man. However, I challenge you to explain the meaning of the passage in double quotes. What exactly does it mean to you that a given rug was made between such and such dates with such and such a probability? I submit that the statement is meaningless unless we define the population of rugs that we are dealing with. And unless the population is the one I describe (i.e., with the uniform distribution) the stated results are simply wrong. And since it is reasonable to suppose that extant Salor chuvals do not have that distribution, it follows that the quoted probabilities do not apply.

: H.S.: True enough. But what is the informed opinion about the age distribution of extant Salor chuvals that appear to a highly experienced collector, such as the caretaker of this piece, to be possibly old enough to be worth submitting for C14 analysis.? Would you care to specify what your informed opinion on this was prior to learning the C14 data? What is your informed opinion now with the C14 data in hand?

: Wishing you excellent rugs,

: Henry

I am not denying the possibility that this particular Salor was made in 1485, or in 400BC for that matter, although the owner's 'informed opinion' might have been satisfied with 1742. What I am denying is that if you take a rug and send it to be analyzed and get back the quoted results, you can now conclude that there is a 74% chance of its being from 1495-1684, i.e., that of all extant rugs that return these results, 74% will be from that period. I am also denying that if, in your opinion, the rug was 18th century, these results would give you no cause to revise your opinion. On the other hand, if you thought the rug was 19th century, you would now be compelled to opine that it was very early 19th century. If you thought it was 20th century, you'd either change your mind or send it back for retesting.

Regards, Yon

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