14c dating method
Capability selections Selecting the right capability depends on your sample type, or the form in which you wish to send the sample.
Sample preparation and measurement Radiocarbon dating is performed on a variety of sample types; optimum sample sizes are listed in Table 1 below.
For well-preserved bone (20–25% collagen), the sample size decreases to about 10 mg.
In practice, the manipulation of small bone samples presents several obstacles which are difficult to overcome, especially for ancient (Middle to Upper Paleolithic transition) samples.
Here, we present the first radiocarbon dates obtained from minute amounts of bone (3–60 mg) using ECHo MICADAS, the compact AMS recently installed at Gif-sur-Yvette, France.
The optimization of our bone collagen extraction protocol allowed us to decrease the sample size by two orders of magnitude, while still extracting enough material (.
0.3%) resulting in uncertainties that are unacceptable for most archaeological samples.
Our approach was tested on known-age samples dating back to 40,000 BP, and served as proof of concept.In effect, they provide us with windows to past societies, and contribute to our knowledge of ancient human evolution and cultural development.Hard tissues contain an organic phase (mainly the protein collagen type I) embedded in a mineral phase (made of a non-stoichiometric biogenic apatite).As the diagenetic alteration proceeds, the quantity and quality of the collagen decreases; consequently, the sample size must increase in order to compensate for protein loss.Radiocarbon dating ancient bones can therefore prove challenging.