Letter | Published:

Fission Track Dating of Archaeological Glass Materials from Japan

Nature volume 222, pages 10571058 (14 June 1969) | Download Citation



THE method of dating by fission tracks1 which has been applied to glass2 depends on the spontaneous fission of 238U atoms contained in glass taking place at a constant rate, and leaving fission tracks (that is, detectable damage trails of nuclear fragments). Once formed, the fission tracks in a glass disappear if the glass is heated above a critical temperature. It may be assumed that the density, ρs, of spontaneous fission tracks of 238U atoms in a glass is proportional to the lapse of time T after the glass was either produced or last heated above the critical temperature, and to the density of 238U atoms contained in the glass. The latter can be determined from the density of 235U atoms, ρi, which are induced by bombarding the glass with a known dose of thermal neutrons φ. Then the lapse of time T is given approximately by the simplified formula3

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  1. 1.

    , and , J. Geophys. Res., 68, 4847 (1963).

  2. 2.

    , and , J. Appl. Phys., 34, 2903 (1963).

  3. 3.

    , , , and , Nature, 205, 1138 (1965).

  4. 4.

    , and , Science, 144, 841 (1964).

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  1. Department of Anthropology, Faculty of Science, University of Tokyo, Hongo, Tokyo, Japan.



  1. Search for NAOTUNE WATANABE in:

  2. Search for MASAO SUZUKI in:

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