Integrated Reasoning

Island Museum analyzes historical artifacts using one or more techniques described below—all but one of which is performed by an outside laboratory—to obtain specific information about an object’s creation. For each type of material listed, the museum uses only the technique described:

Animal teeth or bones: The museum performs  isotope ratio mass spectrometry  (IRMS) in-house to determine the ratios of chemical elements present, yielding clues as to the animal’s diet and the minerals in its water supply.

Metallic ores or alloys:  Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry  (ICP-MS) is used to determine the ratios of traces of metallic isotopes present, which differ according to where the sample was obtained.

Plant matter: While they are living, plants absorb carbon-14, which decays at a predictable rate after death; thus  radiocarbon dating  is used to estimate a plant’s date of death.

Fired-clay objects:  Thermoluminescence  (TL)  dating  is used to provide an estimate of the time since clay was fired to create the object.

For each of the following artifacts in the museum’s Kaxna collection, select  Yes  if, based on the museum’s assumptions, a range of dates for the object’s creation can be obtained using one of the techniques in the manner described. Otherwise, select No.

Bronze statue of a deer
Fired-clay pot
Wooden statue of a warrior

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Answer Key