Radiocarbon dating of lime mortars

Giovanni Pesce, Richard Ball

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Abstract

A number of studies carried out over the last forty years describe the application of the radiocarbon dating method to lime mixtures such as mortars, plasters and renders. The basic principles of this particular application of carbon dating were first suggested in a short paper published in Nature in 1964 by Labeyrie and Delibrias. From an archaelogical point of view, the most interesting aspect of the lime-manufacturing process is that the fixation of radiocarbon within the CaCO3 structure (i.e. the hardening process of the lime) occurs approximately at the time of construction, which is the information very often sought by archaeologists when buildings are studied. This means that, potentially, radiocarbon dating of mortars can be the most reliable technique for dating old structures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-24
JournalJournal of the Building Limes Forum
Volume22
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2015
Event2015 Conference and Gathering of the Building Limes Forum - Bath, UK
Duration: 1 Sep 2015 → …

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