VERY IMPORTANT: It is well known that collagen preservation is not homogenous throughout bone fragments.
It is possible the small sub-sample taken for the % collagen yield test is not representative of the entire bone.
The location of this contamination within the skeletal material is rarely investigated, hampering development of improved radiocarbon pretreatment methods.
This paper focuses on tooth enamel and aims to test whether carbonate contaminants are sitting at the crystallite boundaries, and from this to test a pretreatment to produce more accurate radiocarbon age estimates.
Spongy bones like ball and sockets, vertebra, and the like do not tend to preserve well in harsh conditions and may not yield sufficient collagen for AMS dating.
For bird and fish bones, please consult the lab for sufficient sample size.
This suggests that some contaminants are sitting at the crystallite boundaries.
Bones submerged in water or wet sediments – Please consult the lab before sending these bone samples.
However, the material will be listed as “organics” in the final report instead of “bone collagen.” This is due to the requirement by our ISO/IEC 17005 accreditation that if we did not perform the chemical pretreatments and/or extractions, we cannot specifically testify as to the material that was dated because certain steps affecting the sample quality have been outside of our control and scope of our accreditation.
Do not place extracted collagen directly into Ziplock bags.
– It is important to understand the pretreatment applied to samples since they directly affect the final result.
For bones, we provide conventional collagen extraction techniques and subsequent ultrafiltration methods if requested.
It is rarely possible to directly radiocarbon date skeletal remains from hot environments as collagen rapidly degrades.