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Radiocarbon Dating Teeth vs Bones

Researchers often ask which material is best for radiocarbon dating – bones or teeth. Based on our lab’s experience, either material can provide the best date. However, the environmental conditions for these materials should be taken into account during sample selection. Samples Submerged in Water Bones that have been exposed to water for long periods […]

Radiocarbon Dating Shells – Localized vs Global Marine Reservoir Correction

There are two possible reservoir corrections applied to a radiocarbon date for marine carbonates – the localized reservoir correction (Delta┬▒R) and the global marine reservoir correction. The former is provided by the client to the lab before the analyses while the latter is part of the calibration program. The global marine reservoir correction is automatically […]

Radiocarbon Dating Bones Contaminated with PVA

Bones contaminated with polyvinyl acetate (PVA) require specialized pretreatment, such as solvent extractions, before radiocarbon dating. The success of the dating also varies if the bone has been soaked in PVA or if the PVA was applied in localized areas where there were cracks or breaks. If the bone has been soaked and saturated in […]

Beta Analytic Q&A: Is it Possible to Date Fired Clay Bricks?

It is possible to date fired clay bricks, but it depends on how the bricks were manufactured and what types of contamination may have been absorbed into the bricks since they were put in place. We recommend sending 2-10 grams for AMS dating. Dating fired clay brick is much like dating pottery sherd. Sometimes it […]

Beta Analytic Q&A: Can Sand be Dated?

Just like sediment, it is better to date the macrofossils found in sand. In the absence of macrofossils, sand can be dated if there is an organic material on the surface of the sand. If there is enough carbon present in the organic coating, a radiocarbon date can be obtained. If the sand is dark […]