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To help resolve these issues, radiocarbon laboratories have conducted inter-laboratory comparison exercises see for example, the August special issue of Radiocarbondevised rigorous pretreatment procedures to remove any carbon-containing compounds unrelated to the actual sample being dated, and developed calibration methods for terrestrial and marine carbon.
As trees can be long-lived, wood and charcoal may have an in-built age associated with them If possible, either small twigs or outer rings of the tree should be selected for dating. How Old IS the Earth?
The MRE may also vary over time which adds some uncertainty to the calibrated age range. Bone, antler, and teeth Our ability to radiocarbon date bone and other collagen containing samples such as antler, horn, and teeth dentine depends upon the preservation of the protein component of the bones mostly collagen.
This can be corrected for in calibration using radiocarbon ages of modern pre-nuclear testing shells which have been measured for many regions of the ocean. If at all possible, fragile macrofossils that would not have survived transport are preferred.
The FRE may be estimated by radiocarbon dating the surface sediment, aquatic plants or mollusks but it may also have varied over time. Please indicate on the submission form if there are any known contaminants which could effect the radiocarbon age.
These include preservatives used in conversation such as wax, varnish, glue, or insecticides and hydrocarbons. Peat Identifiable macrofossils are the preferred choice for radiocarbon dating in peat bogs. Shells of known age collected prior to nuclear testing have also been dated http: In many cases we may be able to remove the contaminants if we know about them.
This affects the ratio of 14 C to 12 C in the different reservoirs, and hence the radiocarbon ages of samples that originated in each reservoir. The preservation depends largely on the burial conditions soil acidity, temperature, moisture etc. However, the most common materials dated by archaeologists are wood charcoal, shell, and bone.
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