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Title: Quantifying the impact of µCT-scanning of human fossil teeth on ESR age results
Authors: Duval, Mathieu
Martín-Francés, Laura
Keywords: mCT-scan;Electron spin resonance dating;Fossil tooth enamel;X-ray dose
Issue Date: May-2017
Publisher: Wiley
Citation: American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 2017, 163 (1), 205-212
Abstract: Fossil human teeth are nowadays systematically CT-scanned by palaeoanthropologists prior to any further analysis. It has been recently demonstrated that this noninvasive technique has, in most cases, virtually no influence on ancient DNA preservation. However, it may have nevertheless an impact on other techniques, like Electron Spin Resonance (ESR) dating, by artificially ageing the apparent age of the sample. To evaluate this impact, we mCT-scanned several modern enamel fragments following the standard analytical procedures employed by the Dental Anthropology Group at CENIEH, Spain, and then performed ESR dose reconstruction for each of them. The results of our experiment demonstrate that the systematic high-resolution mCT-scanning of fossil hominin remains introduces a nonnegligible X-ray dose into the tooth enamel, equivalent to 15–30 Gy depending on the parameters used. This dose may be multiplied by a factor of 8 if no metallic filter is used. However, this dose estimate cannot be universally extrapolated to any mCT-scan experiment but has instead to be specifically assessed for each device and set of parameters employed. The impact on the ESR age results is directly dependent on the magnitude of the geological dose measured in fossil enamel but could potentially lead to an age overestimation up to 40% in case of Late Pleistocene samples, if not taken into consideration.
ISSN: 0002-9483
DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.23180
Type: Article
Appears in Collections:Paleobiología
Datación por Resonancia Paramagnética Electrónica
Geocronología y Geología

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