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The detailed steps are as follows: (a) Dry soil was crushed and sieved at 500 μm; (b) The sample was deflocculated with 5% sodium polyphosphates, and then washed three to four times with distilled water; (c) Organic matter was first oxidised by 250 ml of H (30%) in the tube for 20 min; (j) Finally, the recovered phytoliths were dried at 60 °C for 24 h prior to testing.
The phytolith and most of the other materials were dated by Beta Analytic Lab, except for two plant samples from the Tianluoshan site, which were sent to the Peking University accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) laboratory.
Phytoliths can occlude some organic carbon during their deposition in plants.
This carbon fraction is recognised as an ideal dating material because of its high resistance to decomposition and post-deposition contamination at the time of phytolith formation.
However, the selection of materials has a profound effect on the quality of radiocarbon dating.
However, these remains are often absent from many sedimentary archives and archaeological sites.
This is recognised as a robust method for checking phytolith purity and has also been applied to evaluating routine extraction processes As shown in Fig.However, the reliability of phytolith radiocarbon dating has recently been questioned.The development of a new extraction protocol for phytoliths, with paired dating between phytoliths and other materials from the same sediment, may provide further evidence for the reliability of phytolith dating.The Tianluoshan and Huxi sites are located in Zhejiang province, southeastern China.The Yingyang, Yuancun, and Wuluoxipo sites are located in Henan province, central China.