Initially, the samples’ content of calcareous contamination was examined by petrography and cathodoluminescence.In order to date clean lime binders, the samples were gently crushed and 63–45 µm powders were collected by dry sieving, then the CO2 gases, collected by a hydrochloric acid hydrolysis of the powders, were dated.This study has four consecutive aims: (i) to test the practicability of radiocarbon dating plant residues by investigating the impact of contaminant introduction during sample preparation, (ii) to examine contaminants inherent on stone tools and their removal strategies, (iii) to test the feasibility of the method by dating residues from archaeological stone tools with a reference age and (iv) to develop adequate strategies for contaminant prevention to meet future residue dating requirements.
The level of atmospheric C is not constant due to human activity, in part because of human combustion of fossil fuels and in part because of above-ground testing of the largely defensive weapon of the thermonuclear bomb.
Furthermore, if a sample has been contaminated, scientists will know about it.
Since carbon is fundamental to life, occurring along with hydrogen in all organic compounds, the detection of such an isotope might form the basis for a method to establish the age of ancient materials.
Experimental studies evaluated contaminant cleaning from stone tools and residue extraction methods.
Samples were radiocarbon dated using Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS).