Thorium dating

Most people are not aware of the many processes that take place in lava before it erupts and as it solidifies, processes that can have a tremendous influence on daughter to parent ratios.Such processes can cause the daughter product to be enriched relative to the parent, which would make the rock look older, or cause the parent to be enriched relative to the daughter, which would make the rock look younger.Study co-author Paul Pettitt, of Durham University, commented: "Neanderthals created meaningful symbols in meaningful places. "We have examples in three caves 700km apart, and evidence that it was a long-lived tradition.

Joint lead author Dr Chris Standish, an archaeologist at the University of Southampton, said: "This is an incredibly exciting discovery which suggests Neanderthals were much more sophisticated than is popularly believed.But even if it is true that older radiometric dates are found lower down in the geologic column, which is open to question, this can potentially be explained by processes occurring in magma chambers which cause the lava erupting earlier to appear older than the lava erupting later.Lava erupting earlier would come from the top of the magma chamber, and lava erupting later would come from lower down.However, uranium-thorium dating provides much more reliable results than methods such as radiocarbon dating, which can give false age estimates.The uranium-thorium method involves dating tiny carbonate deposits that have built up on top of the cave paintings.

Leave a Reply