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Title: X-ray microtomographic imaging of charcoal
Contributor(s): Bird, Michael I (author); Ascough, Philippa L (author); Young, Iain  (author); Wood, Cheryl V (author); Scott, Andrew C (author)
Publication Date: 2008
DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2008.04.018
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Abstract: We assess the potential of X-ray microtomography as a tool for the non-destructive, three-dimensional examination of the internal structure of charcoal. Microtomographic analysis of a series of charcoals produced by the experimental pyrolysis of pine wood at temperatures from 300 and 600°C in nitrogen only and in nitrogen mixed with 2% oxygen indicates that, despite substantial shrinkage, observed porosity, pore size and pore connectivity are all increased by pyrolysis and also by chemical oxidation. Analysis of a number of altered and unaltered archaeological and geological charcoals has demonstrated the capacity of the technique to identify and map the distribution of authigenic mineral contamination within charcoal fragments. The results are of significance to radiocarbon dating in that they provide insights into the mechanisms by which charcoal can be contaminated by extraneous carbon in the natural environment.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Archaeological Sciences, 35(10), p. 2698-2706
Publisher: Academic Press
Place of Publication: London, United Kingdom
ISSN: 0305-4403
Field of Research (FOR): 050399 Soil Sciences not elsewhere classified
050303 Soil Biology
050305 Soil Physics
060208 Terrestrial Ecology
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 961402 Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Soils
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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