The Radiocarbon Dating Laboratory of Texas A & M University was initiated as a research facility in the Oceanography and Meteorology Department. The facilities are available to graduate study programs and to other research groups associated with the University.
Research was begun in June 1960, towards development of a carbon dating method utilizing liquid scintillation counting. Benzene was chosen as the counting solvent because of its high energy transmitting properties and the high carbon content of benzene which could be totally derived from the sample to be dated. A catalytic method of synthesis of C6H6 at low temperature, as first reported by Shapiro and Weiss (1957), was further developed and modified by Noakes and others (1963) to a procedure suitable for carbon dating. A combined effort of this laboratory and the University of Texas Radiocarbon Dating Laboratory has resulted in a routine procedure for carbon dating, as reported earlier (Texas I).
In the dates reported here the sample preparation and the method of conversion of carbon samples to the counting solvent, benzene, was the same as reported in the earlier papers cited. The problem, reported then, of variation in background count rate between counting vials was eliminated by prior determination of the background for each vial used. With the exception of samples TAM 1 and TAM 2, all dates reported here were calculated according to this procedure.