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A pretreatment procedure for the AMS radiocarbon dating of sub-fossil insect remains.

J A Tripp, T F G Higham, R E M Hedges


Two pretreatment methods for accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) dating of insect remains were explored. One method involves a simple acid wash that removes carbonate, while the other is based on the industrial purification of chitin and results in isolation of polymeric chitosan. No contamination is observed from Maillard reactions during the deacetylation reaction used to isolate the chitosan. The methods were tested on Coleoptera samples from two Roman Britain sites. Our results demonstrate that both methods produce acceptable AMS dates that correspond well to the expected age of the deposits from which they came.


absolute age;accelerator mass spectroscopy;Arthropoda ;C 14;calibration ;Cambridgeshire England;carbon ;carbonates ;Cenozoic ;chitin ;Coleoptera ;dates ;Endopterygota ;England ;Europe ;Godmanchester England;Great Britain;Holocene ;Insecta ;Invertebrata ;isotopes ;Mandibulata ;mass spectroscopy;methods ;Neoptera ;preservation ;Pterygota ;purification ;Quaternary ;radioactive isotopes;Roman period;sample preparation;seeds ;spectroscopy ;United Kingdom;upper Holocene;Western Europe

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