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Characterization of Different Chemical Procedures for 14C Dating of Buried, Cremated, and Modern Bone Samples at CIRCE

Isabella Passariello, Pasquale Simone, Joseph Tandoh, Fabio Marzaioli, Manuela Capano, Nicola De Cesare, Filippo Terrasi


Bone chemical treatment for radiocarbon dating has drawn the attention of different laboratories because dates of bones and charcoals found in the same layer often disagree. Excluding diet-related reservoir effects, this observation is likely due to a nonoptimized procedure of contaminant removal from the extracted collagen. In this study, systematic work on the bone chemical treatment was performed with the aim to investigate the effect of each known procedure (i.e. AAA, GEL, and ULTR) on the collagen used for 14C dating. Isolation and purification of lipids from animal tissues were performed to estimate eventual offsets induced by the applied methods, by comparing the 14C ages of lipids with those of collagen. Moreover, cremated bones were treated for the first time at CIRCE. Measured 14C isotopic ratios on these samples were used to evaluate the accuracy of the applied procedure by comparing against the results for charcoals found in the same archaeological context as the bones.

DOI: 10.2458/azu_js_rc.v54i3–4.16141

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