Carbon dating labs uk

University of Leicester archaeologists took four small samples from one of the ribs of the Greyfriars skeleton and sent them to two specialist units with the facilities to analyse them: the Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre (SUERC) at the University of Glasgow, and the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, part of the University of Oxford’s Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art.

The small pieces of bone were combusted to produce carbon dioxide which was then put through a mass spectrometer.

You can find some more information on radiocarbon dating and the use of radiocarbon as a carbon cycle tracer via the very informative AMS lab links below.

C-12 and C-13 are stable but C-14 decays at a known rate, with a half-life of 5,568 years.

As Controls, three samples whose ages had been determined independently were also dated.

The results provide conclusive evidence that the linen of the Shroud of Turin is mediaeval.

This requires that the carbon, for example from a carbonate shell sample, be concentrated in graphite form, allowing it to be easily ionised and to produce a strong current for AMS analysis.

More information on the graphitisation method we use is available here.

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