Electron spin resonance dating of fossil teeth: Some basic guidelines to ensure optimal sampling conditions
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Unlike radiometric methods based on the measurement of radioactive growth or decay of isotopes (e.g., 14C, 40Ar/39Ar, 230Th/234U), the application of radiation exposure dating methods (OSL, TL, ESR) requires the acquisition of data from the sample itself, in addition to those related with its surrounding environment. Indeed, for Electron Spin Resonance (ESR) dating of tooth enamel, the origin of the sample as well as its sedimentary context must be well known to ensure an accurate dose rate reconstruction. The systematic record of sampling data in the field appears to be essential for the implementation of the method and thus the calculation of reliable age results. Consequently, we propose here some basic guidelines to help non-dating specialists intending to collect fossil teeth from archaeological or geological context for subsequent ESR dating purposes.
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