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Data from: Theoretical constraints on the precision and age range of rehydroxylation dating

Citation

Hare, Vincent J. (2015), Data from: Theoretical constraints on the precision and age range of rehydroxylation dating, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.q4t65

Abstract

Accurate and precise dating methods are of central importance to archaeology, palaeontology and earth science. This paper investigates the expected precision and age range of rehydroxylation dating, a recently proposed technique for fired clays. An expression for combined measurement uncertainty is presented, which takes into account all significant sources of experimental uncertainty. Numerical simulations are performed for comparison. Combined measurement uncertainties of approximately 5% with respect to the age of the ceramic should be possible given well-designed experiments. In this case, the most significant contribution to combined measurement uncertainty is from effective lifetime temperature. In addition, it is shown that precision should be acceptable for recently fired material (less than 1 year). Mismatch of balance resolution to sample mass results in large variation in combined relative uncertainties, which vary by four orders of magnitude (approx. 1–1160%) across recent experimental studies, rendering some recently reported dates meaningless. It is recommended that this ratio be less than 10−6 for a combined relative uncertainty of less than 1%. The age limits of the technique are set by the value of the rate constant and individual sample mineralogy. This theoretical framework should help future interlaboratory comparison as well as optimizing instrument design.

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