Compound specific radiocarbon dating
In some cases, samples are sieved to select an appropriate size fraction, or gently crushed to reduce the size of the particles.
The goal of chemical pretreatment is to remove contaminants that are chemically soluble.
Standard deviations for full-size samples are typically ± 20–25 14C yr (0.1–0.25 p MC) for samples younger than 5,000 C yr.
Cleaning involves the physical, rather than chemical, removal of obviously intrusive materials.
Libby and colleagues tested their method on known-age geological and archaeological materials.
The first reported radiocarbon age was for a piece of wood taken from the tomb of Zoser, an Egyptian king who reigned from 2665 to 2650 BC.
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