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The Roman amphitheatre in Mérida, Spain ˗Augustan or Flavian: Radiocarbon dating results on mortar carbonate

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  • Alf Lindroos, Åbo Akademi University, Finland
  • Jan Heinemeier
  • Åsa Ringbom, Åbo Akademi University, Finland
  • Thomas Schrøder Daugbjerg
  • ,
  • Irka Hajdas, ETH Zürich

Four lime mortar samples from the Mérida amphitheatre in Spain were dated in 2001 and re-dated in 2019 with refined dating methods and focus on carbon dioxide that was released in late CO2 fractions when dissolved in phosphoric acid. The samples were difficult to date because they contained highly soluble, young carbonate contamination that dominated the carbon dioxide from the early stages of the reaction with the acid in the hydrolysis process. They were also rather hydraulic and rich in magnesium, which could have caused delayed hardening. However, there was very little dead carbon contamination so that late carbon dioxide fraction gave uniform 14C ages, pointing to a late 1st c. AD Flavian, or later age of the amphitheatre.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-195
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Research areas

  • CO fractions, Mortar dating, hydraulic mortar, sequential dissolution

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