Sample of collagen for radiocarbon dating

Sample of collagen for radiocarbon dating

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Credit: JAMES KING-HOLMES/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Preparation of samples of collagen, taken from bone which has been submitted for radiocarbon dating. The collagen is weighed on a laoratory balance and will be oxidised to carbon dioxide which is then reduced to graphite. The graphite pellets are used to determine the value of the carbon-14 isotope by an accelerator mass spectrometer. Evaluation of this figure and comparison with the proportion of carbon-12 present leads to a figure for an age of the original sample. Photographed at the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, University of Oxford, UK.

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Keywords: analysis, archaeology, archeology, balance, bone, carbon, carbon dating, carbon dioxide, carbon-14, chemistry, collagen, dating, graphite, graphitisation, historical, history, isotope, microbalance, prehistory, radiocarbon, radioisotope, remains, sample, weighing

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