Monday, 2 July 2012

Carbon dating results now in

Last year a license was granted for the removal of two samples of timber from the clock-frame, for carbon dating. As many of you will know, carbon dating is an analytical technique that uses the measured content of C14, a naturally occurring isotope of carbon, to estimate the age, post mortem, of once living material.
The samples were taken from the underside of the clock frame, more specifically from the mortises of the two main upright frame members. These uprights would appear to be amongst the oldest parts of the frame; one of them bears the scars left by the early, foliot escapement, as I mentioned before in my post of 28th February 2012.
The C14 results are very interesting. The more recent of the two uprights is assigned a date of 1577 plus or minus twenty two years. This is entirely consistent with the legendary donation of the clock by Queen Elizabeth the First, for which, otherwise, no documentary evidence has been found. Further work in the Manx National Archive might be called for.... The other upright is assigned a date of 1421 +/- 22 years, which indicates that this is re-cycled timber. Plus
ça change....

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