Chapter 15: The dating
Anna and Matthew want to date the seal and the medallion. They carefully watched Giorgio using the spectrometer and the carbon dating device in the afternoon; then, during the night, they reach the lab to do their own experiments. They hope not to be caught in the act, because they are aware they are running the risk of returning to the boarding school.
“They moved around it as far as they reached the window. Holding their breath, Anna pushed the window inwards. The trick worked, the window yielded under her fingers, and opened.
Anna turned on the spectrometer, the keyboard lighted up, and the computer began to buzz softly.
«Hey! It seems to be making a hellish racket» she was very upset too.
She put a hand in the pocket of her sweatshirt, and pulled out the Medallion. With one of the tools on the desk, she abraded the surface on a pad. She opened the small drawer, and placed the sample inside with great attention. She pushed the same buttons she had seen Giorgio touching, and that she had used in the afternoon.”
This chapter is about the work of archaeologists. We are pretty sure that archaeology is romantic and exciting. Wrong. It’s neither romantic nor funny to brush sand under the sun without finding anything, or to work under the rain. It’s wearing, hard and sometimes boring. But when you find something, it’s the most exciting job in the world.
Here you can find some news about the carbon dating and the X-ray fluorescence; maybe, these links are not as interesting as the previous ones. They are more technical, but if you want to satisfy your curiosity, it’s the right moment!
A simple explanation on carbon dating:
Something more technical:
The analysis of metals, glass, ceramic and building materials: