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  • Helene Agerskov Rose (a1), John Meadows (a1) (a2), Sanne W L Palstra (a3), Christian Hamann (a2), Mathieu Boudin (a4) and Matthias Huels (a2)...


Radiocarbon (14C) results on cremated bone are frequently published in high-ranking journals, but 14C laboratories employ different pretreatment methods as they have divergent perceptions of what sources of contaminants might be present. We found pretreatment protocols to vary significantly between three laboratories (Brussels [RICH], Kiel [KIA], and Groningen [CIO]), which all have a long history of dating cremated bone. We present a case study of 6 sets of replicate dates, to compare laboratory pretreatment protocols, and a further 16 sets of inter-laboratory replicate measurements, which compare specific steps of the conversion and measuring process. The 14C results showed dates to be reproducible between the laboratories and consistent with the expected archaeological chronology. We found that differences in pretreatment, conversion to CO2 and accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) measurement to have no measurable influence on the majority of obtained results, suggesting that any possible diagenesis was probably restricted to the most soluble ≤5% of each sample, as this proportion of the sample mass was removed under all laboratory protocols.


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Selected Papers from the 23rd International Radiocarbon Conference, Trondheim, Norway, 17–22 June, 2018



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