Radiocarbon dating human bones being so accomodating
This allows corrections to be made on radiocarbon dates in order to produce more accurate dates.Radiocarbon dating, or carbon-14 dating, can be used to date material that had its origins in a living thing as long as the material contains carbon.However, careful examination of the literature suggests that attempts at dating samples smaller than 60 mg are rare.
However, this is still excessive for two classes of bone remains: (1) individual bones of small vertebrates which often weigh less than 60 mg; and (2) unique remains such as hominid bones or worked bone artefacts for which curators do not permit invasive sampling and is seldom reported in publications, even when supplementary information is available (see for example refs 16,17,18,19).Considering that collagen contains about 40–45% carbon, 250 mg of bone are necessary to provide enough carbon for a regular-sized graphite target of 1 mg.For well-preserved bone (20–25% collagen), the sample size decreases to about 10 mg.In both studies, the bones were Late Pleistocene to Holocene in age, and weights were comprised of between 30–60 mg. However, ultrafiltration is often associated with lower extraction yields (especially when bones are moderately to poorly preserved), and does not always allow for the recovery of a sufficient amount of collagen when sample mass is lower than 100 mg. In general, the solution consists in dating a “reliably associated” artefact (often charcoal) from the same stratigraphic unit instead of the bone remains.The main consensus in the radiocarbon community is that bones with less than a 1% collagen yield should not be dated C measurement is the 1% collagen yield threshold.
These results open the way for the routine dating of small or key bone samples. bones, teeth, antler and ivory) found in the fossil record have a tremendous informative potential relevant to the fields of archaeology, palaeoecology and the history of art and technology.