Pre dating wood

Learn More Materials such as shells and other materials where a date on the inorganic carbon (carbonate) is to be done typically undergo acid etching before pretreatment.Learn More The occurrence of contamination can be natural or artificial.

The pretreatment method employed depends on the type of sample and the possible contaminants.

Radiocarbon dating labs must therefore be informed of the environmental conditions and preservation techniques done to the sample before carbon-14 analysis.

Physical pretreatment usually involves the removal of rootlets that intruded on the sample using tweezers or forceps.

This is a straightforward method for most samples sent to carbon dating labs except for peat samples that have been dried where the rootlets may not be easily distinguished from the rest of the sample.

There are two types of pretreatment usually applied to samples for carbon dating—physical and chemical.

The physical pretreatment of samples for radiocarbon dating is generally done by removing contaminants without the use of chemicals followed by the reduction in sample size.

Another physical pretreatment done on samples for carbon dating involves the removal of contaminants by scraping off the exterior layers using the applicable equipment.

Surgical scalpels are used to scrape contaminants off charcoal while dental drills are used on large bones.

Labeling of bone samples with animal glue is an example of artificial contamination.

Other contaminants that may be introduced during sample collection and packaging are biocides, conservation chemicals like polyvinyl acetate and polyethylene glycol, cigarette ash, and labels and wrappers that are made of paper.

A dental drill or a carborundum paper is used in the pretreatment of shell exteriors.

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