We use two main dating techniques in glacier archaeology – typological dating (the shape of the artefact) and radiocarbon dating.Typological dating Typological dating used to be the only available absolute dating technique for archaeologists.Incomplete carbon extraction has, however, no significant effect on the measured C-concentration and radiocarbon age.No significant difference in carbon yield was observed when varying the other combustion parameters or the carbon content of the iron.When a living organism dies, the amount of C14 decreases without being replaced by new C14. Thus, if a fragment of wood is measured to contain only half of the known proportion of C14 to C12, then the wood was believed to be c. This principle also applies to the dating of artefacts of organic materials.The method has been further refined and developed since Libby invented it.The basis for this dating technique is that there are different carbon isotopes present in nature.
that the decrease of C14 by radioactive decay was replaced by the same amount of new C14 created in the atmosphere.
However, most of the finds from the ice cannot be dated by typology.
They are artefacts in organic materials and often unique – not found anywhere else. In the 1940ies, the American scientist Willard Libby developed a method for dating organic materials, so-called radiocarbon dating.
The sled is not datable by type, but it has an iron nail.
This makes it likely that it is younger than 2000 years, which is when iron started to be commonly used in Norway. Reproducibility of the carbon yield is between ±0.1%C for high carbon iron (3%C content) and ±0.02%C for low carbon iron (∼0.5%C content).