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nitrogen dating


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[Te]

A relative dating technique that can be applied to bone. It is based on the gradual reduction of nitrogen in bone as collagen is broken down into amino acids and leached away. Nitrogen is a fairly major constituent of bone (about 4 per cent) and as bone collagen decomposes it gradually releases the nitrogen at a fairly uniform rate. The exact rate of decay depends on the burial environment, but the relative ages of samples from the same environment can be compared by measuring the remaining nitrogen content.

Subjects: Archaeology.


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