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Bulk peat samples should be dried or stored in a cool, dark place.
Do not wrap them in aluminum foil because the acidic nature of the peat will cause it to disintegrate.
There is no charge for the pre-screening, however please see our for dating at guidelines for selecting bones We remove the mineral component of the bones because it is not reliable for dating.
We then purify the remaining material to concentrate the collagen and remove as much soil contamination as possible following the procedure given in Brown et al.
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).
The preservation depends largely on the burial conditions (soil acidity, temperature, moisture etc.).
Peat Identifiable macrofossils are the preferred choice for radiocarbon dating in peat bogs.
If these are not available then short-lived species should be selected if possible; identifications must be done before samples are sent for radiocarbon dating.
We pre-screen bones for nitrogen content which allows us to predict whether a bone has sufficient collagen preservation about 85% of the time based on research by Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit.
Bones with low nitrogen content will not be processed to collagen.
If macrofossils are not available, bulk peat samples can be analysed.
Please remove any roots from bulk samples before sending them.
Marine Samples Marine samples have approximately a 400 year offset from contemporaneous terrestrial samples due to the Marine Reservoir Effect (MRE).