Carbon dating of wood
Fourteen samples were collected from six archaeological sites.
Soil and charcoals or seeds were simultaneously selected at the same depth from the pits and cultural layers.
The detailed steps are as follows: (a) Dry soil was crushed and sieved at 500 μm; (b) The sample was deflocculated with 5% sodium polyphosphates, and then washed three to four times with distilled water; (c) Organic matter was first oxidised by 250 ml of H (30%) in the tube for 20 min; (j) Finally, the recovered phytoliths were dried at 60 °C for 24 h prior to testing.
The phytolith and most of the other materials were dated by Beta Analytic Lab, except for two plant samples from the Tianluoshan site, which were sent to the Peking University accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) laboratory.
Further testing of phytolith dating at archaeological sites is required to confirm whether or not phytolith dating can be influenced by the carbon content of old soils.
In this study, we collected palaeosoil samples from pits dug at archaeological sites in China.
Our results clearly show the potential for phytolith carbon dating at archaeological sites in the absence of other dating materials.
Radiocarbon dating has proven to be a powerful tool for reliably obtaining the ages of past events recorded in sediments and archaeological sites during the late Quaternary period.
The Si and O comprised more than 90% of the total mass, and the atomic ratio was nearly 2:1.Consequently, it is necessary to identify alternative materials that might enable reliable and effective dating. When the plant dies and decays, this carbon fraction, encapsulated by silica, can survive for long periods due to the phytolith’s high resistance to decomposition.Phytolith-occluded carbon (Phyt OC) has been demonstrated to be an important form of carbon sequestration.Xinglefang is attributed to the Miaodigou culture (3900–3600 BCE).Huxi and Tianluoshan are attributed to the Shangshan (8000–5500 BCE) and Hemudu (5000–4000 BCE) cultures, respectively (Table 1).
The Xinglefang site is located in Shanxi province, western China (Fig. Wuluoxipo is attributed to the Peiligang culture (7000–5000 BCE).