Radiocarbon dating human bones

Regardless of the particular 14C technique used, the value of this tool for archaeology has clearly been appreciated.

Desmond Clark (1979:7) observed that without radiocarbon dating "we would still be foundering in a sea of imprecisions sometime bred of inspired guesswork but more often of imaginative speculation." And as Colin Renfrew (1973) aptly noted over 30 years ago, the "Radiocarbon Revolution" transformed how archaeologists could interpret the past and track cultural changes through a period in human history where we see among other things the massive migration of peoples settling virtually every major region of the world, the transition from hunting and gathering to more intensive forms of food production, and the rise of city-states.

For bird and fish bones, please consult the lab for sufficient sample size.

Sample size of 2-4 grams may not be enough for AMS dating after pretreatment.

Researchers often ask which material is best for radiocarbon dating – bones or teeth.

Based on Beta Analytic’s experience, either material can provide the best date.

Compared to conventional radiocarbon techniques such as Libby's solid carbon counting, the gas counting method popular in the mid-1950s, or liquid scintillation (LS) counting, AMS permitted the dating of much smaller sized samples with even greater precision.

Miami radiocarbon lab Beta Analytic offers AMS dating for bones and teeth.

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