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.

Which one of the following pieces of information would, on its own, provide the strongest evidence that the given artifact was actually produced on Kaxna?


A radiocarbon date of 1050 BC for a wooden bowl
IRMS analysis of a necklace made from animal bones and teeth
A TL date for a fired-clay brick that places it definitively in the period of the Kaxna Kingdom
ICP-MS analysis of a metal tool that reveals element ratios unique to a mine on Kaxna
Determination that a stone statue was found near a quarry known to produce stone statues during the Kaxna Kingdom

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