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Such a line must necessarily be produced by mixing, since a real isochron will always have positive slope: the rarity of such an occurrence tells us that mixing of this type must itself be rare.

We can also test for mixing using what is known as a mixing plot: if we draw up a graph of the composition of our sample in which the Sr ratio is the vertical axis (as in the isochron diagram) but the horizontal axis represents 1/Sr (the reciprocal of the quantity of both isotopes of strontium taken together) then if the rock was produced by this mixing process, then the points on this graph will lie along a straight line.

Hence the dotted line connecting the four minerals and extended beyond them must be straight and horizontal, and the point at which it intersects the vertical axis is the initial value of the The effect of the decay process on the isotope ratios can again be plotted on a graph, as shown to the right.Now consider the distribution of the two strontium isotopes Sr.Because they are chemically indistinguishable, they will appear in the same ratio in every mineral at the time when it is formed: some minerals will have more strontium, some will have less, but all must necessarily have the same The initial state of the rock may therefore be schematically represented by the graph to the right, which shows the initial states of four minerals imaginatively named A, B, C, and D.Early Middle Paleolithic industries rich in Levallois and laminar products were assigned mean ages ranging from ∼250 to ∼160 ka (thousands of years ago), suggesting a production of this industry during MIS 7 and the early part of MIS 6.The mean ages obtained for the samples associated with the Acheulo-Yabrudian (strengthened by an isochron analysis) indicate a production of this cultural complex ∼250 ka ago, at the end of MIS 8.

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Radiometric dating or radioactive dating is a technique used to date materials such as rocks or carbon, in which trace radioactive impurities were selectively incorporated when they were formed.