It’s possible to measure the ratios of uranium-238/uranium-234 and thorium-230/uranium-238, the latter of which depends on the former.
At death, the exchange stops, and the carbon-14 then decays with a known half-life, which enables scientists to calculate the time of death.
[but] if you haven’t got organic pigment in there, you can’t use radiocarbon and you’d be destroying the art, which is very valuable.
To take a normal radiocarbon sample would be unduly disruptive,’ he explains.
Instead, Pike’s team turned to uranium-series dating, another radiometric method.
Uranium-238 decays through a series of isotopes to uranium-234, which then itself decays to thorium-230.