Here, we present an overview of sample processing protocols and results KEYWORDS: radiocarbon sample preparation, AMS, Fe-only blank, status report. is outside the range of –, the sample is deemed unsuitable for dating as it. Radiocarbon dating analyses may be carried out on diverse natural materials for samples which are expected to yield ≤ µg of carbon after processing.
For each sample, clean trowels should be used, to avoid cross contamination between samples. The samples should be packaged in chemically neutral materials to avoid picking up new C from the packaging.
The packaging should also be airtight to avoid contact with atmospheric C Also, the stratigraphy should be carefully examined to determine that a carbon sample location was not contaminated by carbon from a later or an earlier period.
Third, because the decay rate is logarithmic, radiocarbon dating has significant upper and lower limits. The practical upper limit is about 50, years, because so little C remains after almost 9 half-lives that it may be hard to detect and obtain an accurate reading, regardless of the size of the sample. Although it was originally thought that there has always been about the same ratio, radiocarbon samples taken and cross dated using other techniques like dendrochronology have shown that the ratio of C to C has varied significantly during the history of the Earth.
To compensate for this variation, dates obtained from radiocarbon laboratories are now corrected using standard calibration tables developed in the past years. Finally, although radiocarbon dating is the most common and widely used chronometric technique in archaeology today, it is not infallable. Whenever possible multiple samples should be collected and dated from associated strata.