The complete text of the poster presented at the 2000 Society for American Archeology Annual Meeting is now on-line at .Fluoride is transmitted through ground water, so optimum performance is obtained on sites where the soil chemistry is consistent, the are not dramatic differences in soil moisture, and where the sediments are relatively fine grained.The fluoride selective electrode uses the same principle as the familiar p H electrode.When the electrode is placed in a solution that contains fluoride, it produces a voltage that is proportional to the amount of fluoride in the solution.
It has been applied to sites ranging from very old to very recent (for example, the famous Piltdown specimens contained both), and with bones that range from partially fossilized to less than a thousand years old.
Where more older features were cut into by more recent ones, the more recent features tend to produce bones with lower fluoride contents.
The results from these control features show that fluoride dating can be used to date house basins at Los Pozos that have not been cross-cut by other features (the majority of house basins at the site).
The requirement of identical burial conditions means that fluoride dating works best when it is applied within a single site with little variation in soil chemistry.
Many different techniques can be used to measure bone fluoride content, but measurement by ion selective electrode is the easiest and simplest method available today.