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Archaeological Discovery in Organic Terrain in Canada – Page 4

– Page 4 –


Peat and Radiocarbon Dating

Earth scientists, such as palynologists or Quaternary geologists, frequently use peat for radiocarbon dating (no figures available) but archaeologists have infrequently used it to date past events. According to the Canadian Archaeological Radiocarbon Database (Morlan 2001) peat – regardless of its genesis – has 72 radiocarbon records (as of March 2003), a small fraction of the total number of entries. This reflects the archaeological context described above because 42 of these – more than half from EjAv-1 L’Anse aux Meadows alone – are from the peat-blanketed parts of Newfoundland and Labrador and other areas ‘north of 60’. Ten C14 dates from peat are reported from B.C. (more than half from Raspberry Bog); one each from Alberta and Manitoba; two from Ontario (both Sheguiandah); and three from New Brunswick.


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