Radiocarbon dating of papyrus

After placing as many loose fragments as best as possible (we will talk more about our repairs in a future post), we had some very small ones remaining with no ink or coloring which were unplaceable.We consulted with our curators and decided that we could use a few of these small fragments for C-14 analysis.

Fortunately, we believed our papyrus fit into this time range.

There are only a handful of labs in this country that do this kind of analysis.

We sent our sample to the Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) laboratory in the Physics Department at the University of Arizona in Tucson for analysis.

Essentially the GSI has access to the Green Collection of manuscripts & Bibles, and several papyri were chosen for rigorous Carbon-dating.

The papyri in question has been dated first palaeographically, and then very small snippets were submitted to three respected laboratories in the USA for independent dating by Carbon-14 processes.

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