Collagen content dating

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.

Soil Because soil is not a 'closed' system, it is not a good choice for radiocarbon dating, unless it is for the purpose of carbon storage and turnaround studies.

For soils and sediments the carbon content varies greatly.

If the % carbon is unknown then please contact us about conducting testing a sample first.

For samples with sufficient sample material remaining after AMS analysis, stable isotopes (N) and C to N ratios will be measured on our EA-IRMS as a further test of collagen quality. Wood & Charcoal: As trees can be long-lived, wood and charcoal may have an in-built age associated with them If possible, either small twigs or outer rings of the tree should be selected for dating.

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.

Sample size If at all possible, please send only the amount required for the 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.1988 and using the ultrafilter cleaning method of Bronk Ramsey et al. A collagen yield of less than ~1% means that the sample was not well preserved and is unacceptable for dating purposes.These samples will not proceed to the final AMS stages.


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.).


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