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Why do I, or any other human, get sore and cracked heels?I understand it's less common in men than women – presumably this is down to footwear choices?Scientists have developed a first-of-its-kind method for determining the age of ancient artifacts without causing damage to the objects.The method could help shed new light on the history of mummified bodies, old maps, cave paintings, and other treasures, they say.Both the conventional and new carbon dating methods can determine the age of objects as far back as 45,000 to 50,000 years, Rowe said.In conventional dating methods, scientists remove a small sample from an object, such as a cloth or bone fragment.

Traditional carbon dating involves removing and burning small samples of the object.Funding for this project is provided by the National Science Foundation, the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training, and Texas A&M University.One popular theory about the Paleolithic cave paintings proposes that sites were chosen based on the acoustics in the caves.Conventional carbon dating estimates the age of an artifact based on its content of carbon-14 (C-14), a naturally occurring, radioactive form of carbon.Comparing the C-14 levels in the object to levels of C-14 expected in the atmosphere for a particular historic period allows scientists to estimate the age of an artifact.

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