Radioactive dating in archaeology

Any organic material that is available in sufficient quantity can be prepared for radiocarbon dating.

Gas proportional counters soon replaced the solid-carbon method in all laboratories, with the samples being converted to gases such as carbon dioxide, carbon disulfide, methane, or acetylene.For example, it was once standard practice to simply burn whole bones, but the results were eventually seen to be unreliable.Chemical methods for separating the organic (collagen) from the inorganic (apatite) components of bone created the opportunity to date both components and compare the results.Bases may be used to remove contaminating humic acids.Some types of samples require more extensive pre-treatment than others, and these methods have evolved over the first 50 years of radiocarbon dating.

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