Radiocarbon dating bone samples

Samples for dating need to be converted into a form suitable for measuring the content; this can mean conversion to gaseous, liquid, or solid form, depending on the measurement technique to be used.Before this can be done, however, the sample must be treated to remove any contamination and any unwanted constituents.

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All samples that have undergone pretreatment and subsequently found to be unsuitable for dating, or abandoned for another reason, may incur a part charge.

The development of radiocarbon dating for degraded bone samples collected at Korean archaeological sites has been successful through the characterization of raw bone C/N ratios and application of an ultrafiltration method.

It was found that the C/N ratios of raw bone samples are inversely proportional to the carbon content and residue amount after gelatinization.

We have examined a few dozen Korean archaeological bone samples for this study.

We present evidence to suggest that LMW fraction contaminants could be derived from the ultrafilters rather than humic substances.

Excessively long ultrafiltration time was suspected to have contaminated the bone samples with material from the ultrafilter, because those samples exhibited older C ages of unfiltered gelatin extracted from well-preserved bones can be sufficiently accurate, and that care should be taken not to contaminate bone gelatin during ultrafiltration.

We found that the C/N ratios of degraded raw bone samples can be used to determine whether 14C samples are acceptable for normal pretreatment processing and eventual dating.

The results of this study support that even if the C/N ratio of a degraded raw bone sample is 11, extraction of collagen for bone dating is feasible by a carefully designed ultrafiltration process. The C/N ratios of the collagen samples of Gunang-gul were determined to be 3.2? Our study establishes a new guide for the pretreatment of degraded bone samples such as those collected in Korea for 14C dating.

Although preliminary, these results suggest that sulfix should be avoided if possible and that clean CO2 gas from well-calcined Paleolithic bones can provide reliable 14C ages.

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