Dating The Peralta Stone Maps

by Jim D. Hatt



Some people think that dating the stone maps would be a simple procedure of modern science that would determine how old they are. Dating the stones themselves would in fact be quite simple using the Potassium-Argon method described below. But the results would only indicate how long ago mother earth formed the rocks that the stone maps were made from. Millions or Billions of years ago. The Radiocarbon dating method cannot be used because the stone maps are not composed of Organic Materials.

What we need to know is when the inscriptions were carved into the stone maps. The only way of doing this would be through scientific analasys of any organic materials deposited in the grooves of the inscriptions since the time they were cut. Since we are concerned with organic materials you might jump to the conclusion that the Radiocarbon method (described below) could be used for doing this. It will not work on the stone maps because the Radiocarbon process is only accurate on items between the ages of approximately 600 (10% of the halflife of carbon 14) and 6,000 years old due to standard statistical deviation in the rate of decay and halflife of carbon 14.

Therfore radiocarbon dating method could supply usefull information about the age of any organic materials in the inscriptions on the stone maps, only if the inscriptions on the stone maps were believed to be over 600 and less than 6,000 years old,  and that could have only been done immediately after the stone maps were found, before they were handled in anything less that sanitary conditions. (Which introduces the possibility of cross contamination by forign material from any time period in history) Since these maps have been handled by an unknown number of people in an unknown number of different conditions, and known to have been transported all over the country under unknown conditions, there is NO POSIBILITY of gaining any usefull information about the age of the inscriptions on the stone maps in the 21st Century by any known radioisotope method of dating. (Even if they had met the first criteria of being at least 600 years old).

There is only one method that could possibly determine the age of the inscriptions on the stone maps and that would be by an indrect method. That is to determine where they lead you to, and discover artifacts in that area that can be indisputably linked to the stone maps and dated. Find the mines or the treasure they refer to, and you may have a chance to find out when the stone maps were created.  Short of that, the debate over how old the inscriptions on the stone maps are will most likely never end.


Jim Hatt  is a Registered Senior Nuclear Health Physicist - Health Physics Society 1985 This artical is Copyright © 2006 by Jim D. Hatt

All Rights reserved, No part of this document may be reproduced or copied in any form or by any means graphic, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping, or retrieval systems without the written permission of Jim D. Hatt.


Methods of Absolute Dating of Organic and Inorganic Materials

As defined by: Tom Higham, Radiocarbon Laboratory, University of Waikato, New Zealand

Radiocarbon dating for Organic Materials

One of the most widely used and well-known absolute dating techniques is carbon–14 (or radiocarbon) dating, which used to date organic remains. This is a radiometric technique since it measures radioactive decay. Carbon–14 is an unstable isotope of normal carbon, carbon–12. Cosmic radiation entering the earth’s atmosphere produces carbon–14, and plants take in carbon–14 as they absorb carbon dioxide. Carbon–14 moves up the food chain as animals eat plants and as predators eat other animals. With death, the absorption of carbon–14 stops. This unstable isotope starts to break down into nitrogen–14. It takes 5,730 years for half the carbon–14 to change to nitrogen; this is the half–life of carbon–14. After another 5,730 years only one–quarter of the original carbon–14 will remain. After yet another 5,730 years only one–eighth will be left. By measuring the proportion of carbon–14 in organic material, scientists can determine a fossil’s date of death.

However, because the half–life of carbon–14 is short, this dating technique is less dependable for specimens older than 40,000 years than it is for more recent remains. A further issue is known as the "Old Wood" problem. Particularly in dry, desert climates, it is possible for organic materials such as dead trees to remain in their natural state for hundreds of years before people use them as firewood, after which they become part of the archaeological record. Dating when that particular tree died does not necessarily indicate when the fire burned. This is also true of the heartwood of a tree, which will appear younger than the outer rings of the same tree because it has had less time to incorporate carbon-14 into its makeup. For this reason, many archaeologists prefer to use samples from short-lived plants (such as weeds or crops) for radiocarbon dates. The development of AMS (accelerator mass spectrometry) dating, which allows a date to be derived from a very small sample, has been very useful in this regard.

Potassium-Argon dating for Inorganic Materials (Rocks)

Other radiometric dating techniques are available for earlier periods. One of the most widely used is the Potassium-argon_dating (K/A) technique. Potassium–40 is a radioactive isotope of potassium that breaks down into argon–40, a gas. The half–life of potassium–40 is far longer than that of carbon–14—1.3 billion years. With this method, the older the specimen, the more reliable the dating. Furthermore, whereas carbon–14 dating can be done only on organic remains, K/A dating can be used only for inorganic substances: rocks and minerals. Potassium–40 in rocks gradually breaks down into argon–40. That gas is trapped in the rock until the rock is heated intensely (as with volcanic activity), at which point it may escape. When the rock cools, the breakdown of potassium into argon resumes. Dating is done by reheating the rock and measuring the escaping gas.


We have started an new section for posting reply to this and other articles.
You can post pictures and edit your posts, this will be easy for you to use.

Click Here to go to the new sections.

 


DesertUSA Newsletter -- We send articles on hiking, camping and places to explore, as well as animals, wildflower reports, plant information and much more. Sign up now. (It's free.)


The Desert Environment
The North American Deserts
Desert Geological Terms



SEARCH THIS SITE














Copyright © 1996-2014 DesertUSA.com and Digital West Media, Inc.