Posted by Yon Bard on July 04, 1999 at 13:06:36:
My previous comments on C14 dating may have given the impression that I think little of this method. In fact, I was not attacking the method, merely some likely misinterpretations of its results.
Returning to our Salor example, here are a couple of positive results that can be inferred from the analysis, assuming that it was meticulously done (I hope to return to this subject later):
1. I have heard a well-known authority speculate that the S-class rugs were so technically perfect that they were most likely woven in late 19C workshops. This hypothesis is refuted, with strong probability, by the C14 analysis.
2. In the current state of skepticism towards heuristic methods of dating, one might have chosen to date this rug as 'before 1857 (the date of the Salors' collapse).' However, the C14 analysis establishes that the piece probably predates the last half century of that period, and thus validates to some extent our esthetic criteria for judging a Salor to be 'early.' This inference could be strengthened if we also had C14 results for Salors that we think are later, and if those results showed later cut-off dates.
You may not think this is much, but it is more than we have from any other method that we know of!
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