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Use of uranium decay series for dating an archaeological smelting site

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dc.contributor.advisor Dorothy Hosler. en_US
dc.contributor.author Wolf, Violetta (Violetta R.) en_US
dc.contributor.other Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering. en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2010-09-03T18:54:15Z
dc.date.available 2010-09-03T18:54:15Z
dc.date.copyright 2008 en_US
dc.date.issued 2008 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1721.1/58450
dc.description Thesis (S.B.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering, 2008. en_US
dc.description Cataloged from PDF version of thesis. en_US
dc.description Includes bibliographical references (p. 109). en_US
dc.description.abstract Through the identification of phases and their isotopic composition and variability, an assessment of the applicability of uranium decay series dating to El Manchon slags was made. El Manchon is the only Mesoamerican site to exhibit smelting technology. Uranium series dating is typically used on geologically old natural material, but the El Manchon slags were not suitable for other dating techniques. There are four requirements of uranium series dating: measurable presence of appropriate isotopes, cogenetic phases within the material, isotopic fractionation between phases, and the ability to physically separate the phases. This is the first attempt to date archaeological material with the uranium series dating method. Petrographic reflected light microscopy was used to identify the phases in the slags. Electron beam microanalysis was used to identify the chemical composition of the identified phases. Ion beam microanalysis was used to assess the isotopic fractionation between the phases. Electron pulse disaggregation, hand-sorting, and magnetic separations were performed to separate the phases. The slags are composed of four different phases: a silica-melt phase, a quartz-like phase, a copper phase, and a copper-iron-sulfide phase. These four phases are in abundant presence with sufficient isotopic fractionation to make the El Manchon slags suitable for uranium series dating. en_US
dc.description.statementofresponsibility by Violetta Wolf. en_US
dc.format.extent 109 p. en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher Massachusetts Institute of Technology en_US
dc.rights M.I.T. theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission. See provided URL for inquiries about permission. en_US
dc.rights.uri http://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/7582 en_US
dc.subject Materials Science and Engineering. en_US
dc.title Use of uranium decay series for dating an archaeological smelting site en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.description.degree S.B. en_US
dc.contributor.department Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering. en_US
dc.identifier.oclc 630115982 en_US


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