The descending plate will continue to be pulled, or subducted, under a continent until it reaches a depth at which it begins to melt.
The melting of the plate at depth produces magma which then ascends through the continental plate where it is expelled by volcanoes.
When it comes to dating archaeological samples, several timescale problems arise.
According to radiocarbon dating done in 1988, the cloth was only 728 years old at the time.
Now Carpinteri’s team, through mechanical and chemical experimentation, hypothesizes that high-frequency pressure waves generated in the Earth’s crust during earthquakes are the source of such neutron emissions.
This is based on their research into piezonuclear fission reactions, which are triggered when very brittle rock specimens are crushed under a press machine.
They arrived at this conclusion by comparing age estimates obtained using two different methods - analysis of radioactive carbon in a sample and determination of the ratio of uranium to thorium in the sample.
In some cases, the latter ratio appears to be a much more accurate gauge of age than the customary method of carbon dating, the scientists said.
In principle, any material of plant or animal origin, including textiles, wood, bones and leather, can be dated by its content of carbon 14, a radioactive form of carbon in the environment that is incorporated by all living things.