Radiocarbon dating of an archeological parchment sample was carried out by
carbosorb and benzene synthesis methods. The sample, with few symbolic letters written
on it, was claimed to belong to the Harappa civilization (ca. 3000-1500 BC).
Objective: Carbosorb and benzene synthesis methods were optimized for radiocarbon
dating of parchment samples. Radiocarbon analysis conditions were optimized for liquid
Methods: Archeological parchment sample and a commercial parchment sample (control
sample) were processed by chemical and carbonization methods to remove inorganic and
organic impurities. Samples were converted into carbamate and benzene through carbosorb
and benzene synthesis systems, respectively. The conditions were optimized to achieve 74
% efficiency of carbosorb method and 78% yield in benzene synthesis system.
Results and Conclusion: The pMC of both samples were calculated by using statistical
templates. The fractionation in 14C for sample was corrected for and normalized to 13C
composition of -25 ‰ PDB by measuring the 13C composition of the sample, standard and
The pMC of parchment sample, claimed to belong to old civilization, was calculated as
119.3±1.4 in case of carbosorb method and 118.6 ±2.1 in case of benzene synthesis
system. Whereas, the commercial parchment sample showed pMC=121±3.4 for carbosorb
method and pMC= 123±4.1 for benzene synthesis method. The age of parchment sample
was equal to 1958-1962 AD, when bomb NH3 calibration curve was applied. Based on
results, it was concluded that archeological sample was indeed have the post 1950 origin
and thus has nothing to do with ancient Harappa civilization.