CARBON DATING ARTIFACTS FOR RESEARCH
Know Your Options & Research
Documented by Timothy Draper
When it comes down to historical research and treasure hunting, getting answers is very important. There’s no reason to spend time and effort on a site that is not of the right time period. Can you imagine wasting time on a treasure site that you feel is very old, but it turns out its only 50 years old?
For instance, if you are hoping that you stumbled across an old mine with timbers inside and you think it could possibly be an old Spanish mine. You can carbon test the mine props, artifacts, and tools found inside. If you find old pieces of leather, that can be tested as well. The cost of a carbon test is not as expensive as you may think. You can test samples for $125 – $450 dollars per sample.
This could save you a lot of wasted time, or it can prove that you are onto something good. If your sample comes back 300 years old, you may have stumbled across something really good.
DO YOUR RESEARCH ON YOUR TREASURE SITES
(PART 2 – CARBON DATING ARTIFACTS FOR RESEARCH)
If you have done your research before you head into the wilderness, you should know a few things about the treasure you are looking for. If you are looking for civil war treasures, then that’s easy. Do your research and get the approximate dates of the civil war. Your dates should be around 1861 – 1865. Now, remember, when it comes to locating treasures, sometimes that date can be off. Maybe some were preparing for the civil war a couple of years prior to the war and perhaps some were still involved with the civil war a few years after.
Know your history and research the story you are hunting for. Some say, when it comes to real estate, they say “location, location, location,” I say when it comes to treasure hunting, research, research, research. I spend a lot of time on the backstory and history of a treasure I’m hunting for. I suggest you do the same.
WHAT MATERIALS CAN BE CARBON TESTED?
(PART 3 – CARBON DATING ARTIFACTS FOR RESEARCH)
Here’s the good thing. Many different sample types can be tested. This gives you, as a treasure hunter, many different things to hunt for, in order to get a date.
Here are a few things to look for to get your samples:
- Blood Residues
- Paper or Parchment
There are some samples you can look for. I think this gives you a very good possibility to recover something that you can date. Don’t go crazy. Take your time, and take a sample of something that you feel will really give you answers to your site.
Carbon dating can give you more information than just a date. For example, if you are testing wood, it can give you the date, what type of species of tree, and where the region of the tree is found. That’s why I feel like carbon dating is a powerful tool for treasure hunters.
EXAMPLES OF APPLICATIONS TO USE FOR CARBON DATING & TREASURE HUNTING
(PART 4 – CARBON DATING ARTIFACTS FOR RESEARCH)
TIME PERIOD FOR ARTIFACTS
I think it’s safe to say that most people can agree that getting a date on an artifact is a good idea. This way you know when the artifact was made. Every treasure hunter, at one point in his or her life, has asked the question, how old is this artifact? Carbon dating will give you the dates you’re looking for.
HOW OLD IS THE MINE
If you find a mine and you’re trying to find out who dug it out, and when, carbon dating is your go-to. If the mine has timber, mine props, can carbon test that. You can also carbon test tools, and objects found in the mine, as well. This is very important because sometimes, depending on what treasure you’re looking for, carbon tests can be quite different. The Spanish had different means for mining, and were big on mining and collecting their gold and silver for long periods of time. If the carbon test comes back in a time period when you know the Spanish were in the area, then maybe, you found a Spanish mine and your technique should be different to locate all of the clues.
OLD STRUCTURES FOUND IN THE WILDERNESS
This has happened to me many times. I’ll give an example of our hunt after Butch Cassidy, and a cache we investigated. Our team was featured on the Travel Channel, looking for the Castle Gate Payroll Robbery. We discovered Robbers Roost and an old corral in the area. We were told that the corral was built by the Wild Bunch (Butch Cassidy’s Team). While we were there, we did metal detecting around the corral and found horseshoes. They looked old. I took a sample of the wood posts from the corral A few months later, I sent the sample in and it did come back as being from the 1880s. That’s a few years before the Castle Gate Robbery happened. That told us that the corral could be, in fact, built by the wild bunch.
SMELTERS AND ARRASTRA’S FOUND AT A POSSIBLE TREASURE LOCATION
The Spanish would build smelters close to the area of their mine or mines. How can you tell if it’s a Spanish smelter or kiln/smelter from the old gold rush? Carbon date. It is true that veteran treasure hunters may be able to tell from the construction of the structure but I encourage you to do your homework. Carbon dating will give you your answer. Sure, a smelter from the old gold rush would be cool to find, but there is a big difference in the approach to hunting for old western treasures versus old Spanish treasures. If you carbon date it, you’ll know what to do next.
I’m not here to sell you on carbon dating. I don’t make any profit from it at all. Only the benefits of carbon dating can do that for me in treasure hunting. I want to pass that on to you, as a reader and treasure hunter.
Treasure hunting is popular on television and social media, but the old methods of treasure hunting are dying. Even as technology is getting better, old treasure hunters are dying, and their trade secrets and information are going away with them. I hope this article gives you a new perspective on using modern-day science and technology to successfully research, and hunt for treasures.
I have written many articles, and I have 3 websites with tons of information on treasure hunting tips and suggestions. These websites were built to help mentor other treasure hunters. If you have questions, or if you think you’ve made a discovery and you need help, reach out to me or my team members. We’ll get back to you.
Until then… Good Luck. Be Safe. Find Your Adventure!
LINKS TO WEBSITES
Copyrights protected by Treasures in America Production Company
Written by Timothy Draper – Expert Historical Treasure Hunter
Edited by Brenda Dopp
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