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Isotope imaging of ultra-traces by LA-fs HR-ICP-MS for U-series dating (U/Th) of archaeological biominerals: how far can we go?

Abstract : To overcome the problems associated with the traditional U-series dating protocol (large amount of sample required, possible contamination during preparation and consideration of sample contamination in the past), we present a new approach using isotope mapping of radioelements produced by femtosecond laser ablation coupled with high resolution mass spectrometry (LA-fs HR-ICP-MS). This protocol, developed and validated on different carbonate supports, has been applied to a series of archaeological biominerals (shells, teeth, calcitic crusts). A high resolution of a few micrometres has been achieved, as well as a significant improvement of the sensitivity. This allows to obtain U/Th ages with minimal sampling (< 1mg), even though only ultra-traces of uranium (sub-ppb) are present. The isotope mapping approach also allows a real study of the material, highlighting areas potentially contaminated with detrital thorium, but also areas that have experienced leaching. The potential of this method and its limitations are discussed.
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https://hal-univ-pau.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03689525
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Submitted on : Tuesday, June 7, 2022 - 12:28:28 PM
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Asmodée Galy, Loïc M Martin, Fanny Claverie, Edwige Pons-Branchu, Chantal Tribolo, et al.. Isotope imaging of ultra-traces by LA-fs HR-ICP-MS for U-series dating (U/Th) of archaeological biominerals: how far can we go?. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, IOP Publishing, 2022, 2204, pp.012017. ⟨10.1088/1742-6596/2204/1/012017⟩. ⟨hal-03689525⟩

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