Radiocarbon dating burnt wood

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If research into other sources of information also fails to throw light on the building's history, resort may be made to the various scientific methods of dating.This article outlines three of the most important methods currently used for dating buildings or, in a complex situation, the order of construction within the building.

If the sample is too small, it will be submitted for direct combustion. *Ultrafiltration is used to concentrate longer protein molecules and can be used to remove shorter chain proteins more likely to originate from contaminants.

Almost certainly the century or portion of a century when it was built may be assigned with some certainty.

However, as more and more work is done and increasing numbers of structures with complex constructional phases are encountered, the general features may not be sufficient to give the accuracy in dating that is currently required.

None is infallible and before embarking on an extensive dating survey, due thought must be given to what might be achieved and which methods might be the more successful. Whilst earlier types of wooden joints may be copied in later buildings and earlier styles may be reintroduced in later periods to confound the conservationist or historian, any reuse of older materials should become obvious by the use of the chronometrical methods described here.

The incorporation of ancient bog oak into a building, no matter how intricately carved or jointed, would immediately become obvious to the chronologist, as would timber renovations.

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