Other potential contaminants include paper, cardboard, cotton wool, string, and cigarette ash.Samples must be stored in packaging materials that will protect them during transport and even during prolonged storage.
Radiocarbon dating has been around for more than 50 years and has revolutionized archaeology.Carbon 14 dating remains to be a powerful, dependable and widely applicable technique that is invaluable to archaeologists and other scientists.Anthropologists can describe a people’s physical character, culture, and environmental and social relations.Archaeologists, on the other hand, provide proof of authenticity of a certain artifact or debunk historical or anthropological findings.Studying the material remains of past human life and activities may not seem important or exciting to the average Joe unlike the biological sciences.
But archaeology’s aim to understand mankind is a noble endeavor that goes beyond uncovering buried treasures, gathering information, and dating events.
It is important that the radiocarbon scientists and archaeologists agree on the sampling strategy before starting the excavation so time, effort, and resources will not be wasted and meaningful result will be produced after the carbon dating process.
It must be stressed that archaeologists need to interact with radiocarbon laboratories first before excavation due to several factors.
The sample-context relationship is not always straightforward.
Date of a sample pre-dates the context it is found.
Laboratories have limitations in terms of the samples they can process for radiocarbon dating. Laboratories must also be consulted as to the required amount of sample that they ideally like to process as well as their preference with certain samples for carbon dating.