AMS ^<14>C Ages of Archeological Remains from a Sunken Ancient Ship Salvaged at the Mouth of Nagasaki Port, Nagasaki Prefecture(Summaries of Researches Using AMS)


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  • 長崎県の長崎港外で引き揚げられた沈没船関連試料の放射性炭素年代(タンデトロン加速器質量分析計業績報告2004(平成16)年度)

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In early Edo period (AD 1610), a Portuguese ship, Madre de Deus, was attacked by Japanese soldiers and sank beneath the sea at the mouth of Nagasaki port, Nagasaki City. A NPO group, Society for Research and Preservation of Ancient Portuguese Ship, is looking for them to study the ancient western ship and its cargos on the historical viewpoints. In April 2002, a part of an old sunken ship was salvaged from the sea at the mouth of Nagasaki Port. The materials of the ship remains collected from the sea contained ropes made of hemp, iron nails and iron bolts. Since there was no material that confirms that the salvaged ship originated from the Portuguese Ship that was being looked for, the NPO group planned to measure the age of the ship by scientific dating. Thus the samples of hemp rope, iron nail and iron bolt were delivered to Nagoya University for AMS ^<14>C dating. The two hemp rope samples were processed in a routine method and dated as 177±26 BP and 215±26 BP in ^<14>C age and AD 1688-1947 and AD 16653-1945 in calibrated calendar age. At Nagoya University, iron samples can also be dated. Carbon that is remaining in the iron materials after smelting or refining process of them can be extracted by using a special tool (a combustion system of iron materials by a RF furnace). The ^<14>C ages of nail and bolt samples were dated to be 27,580±106 BP and 9026±38 BP, respectively. These ages are far older than the first production of artificial iron materials by Hittite people and suggest the usage of coal in smelting iron material from iron ore. The evident usage of coal in smelting iron material is from the Industrial Revolution in England after 18^<th> century. Thus we must investigate the history of ancient iron formation in Europe to conclude that the salvaged ship is really the Portuguese Ship.


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