Atlantis Online
October 24, 2020, 04:13:30 am
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Did Humans Colonize the World by Boat?
Research suggests our ancestors traveled the oceans 70,000 years ago
http://discovermagazine.com/2008/jun/20-did-humans-colonize-the-world-by-boat
 
  Home Help Arcade Gallery Links Staff List Calendar Login Register  

The Mysterious Case Of Columbus' Silver Ore - UPDATE


Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: The Mysterious Case Of Columbus' Silver Ore - UPDATE  (Read 176 times)
Bianca
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 41646



« on: November 07, 2008, 12:02:28 pm »









Thibodeau then used lead isotope analysis to determine where La Isabela's galena originated. The ratio of the different forms, or isotopes, of lead provides a kind of fingerprint that can indicate the source of a rock.

"We're looking at something about the rock's chemistry and using that to tell us where it came from," she said. "It's like Antiques Roadshow where the appraiser looks at some characteristic of an antique and says, 'This was made by so-and-so at such-and-such a time.'"

Figuring out that the galena came from Spain led to the question, why bring ore? The documents report that the expedition also brought lead.

By contacting an expert in medieval chemistry, the scientists learned that a common practice of the time was mixing galena with powdered ores suspected of having gold or silver. The process provided an assay of the gold or silver in the newly discovered hunk of ore by comparing it with galena containing a known, small quantity of silver.

Given that the expedition purpose was discovering new sources of precious metals, it makes sense that the members toted along materials to assess their discoveries.

"It was a nice detective story," Killick said. "We think we've solved this one."

But there are more archaeological puzzles out there, Thibodeau said.

"Archaeology tells us what might be an interesting question to ask -- and the physical sciences gives us a way to answer the question," Thibodeau said.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Adapted from materials provided by University of Arizona.

Need to cite this story in your essay, paper, or report? Use one of the following formats:
 APA

 MLA University of Arizona (2007, February 20).

The Mysterious Case Of Columbus's Silver Ore. ScienceDaily.

Retrieved November 7, 2008, from



http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2007/02/070220020756.htm
Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.


Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by EzPortal
Bookmark this site! | Upgrade This Forum
SMF For Free - Create your own Forum
Powered by SMF | SMF © 2016, Simple Machines
Privacy Policy