Radiocarbon dating service
Authenticity of the sampling is up-held by a photograph taken together with our unique laboratory reference number for the object.
The quantity of sample that we require depends on the material being sampled. This equates to about one match stick sized piece for wood, or approximately half a postage stamp sized piece of textile.
To obtain a truly absolute chronology, corrections must be made, provided by measurements on samples of know age.
The most suitable types of sample for radiocarbon dating are charcoal and well-preserved wood, although leather, cloth, paper, peat, shell and bone can also be used.
It becomes incorporated into the biomolecules of heterotrophic organisms (animals) via the food chain.
The radiocarbon dating method is based on the fact that plant and animal tissue levels of carbon-14 remain relatively constant during life, but taper off at a predictable rate in surviving remains. Typically, traces of radiocarbon can be detected in organic remains up to 50,000 years old.
Radiocarbon dating: radioactive carbon decays to nitrogen with a half-life of 5730 years.
In dead material, the decayed 14C is not replaced and its concentration in the object decreases slowly.
Upon reaching the earth’s surface, a small percentage of carbon-14 containing carbon dioxide is taken up by plants and then incorporation into plant biomolecules via photosynthesis.
For more information, contact Matthew Fort ([email protected]; 1-217-244-7692), the Radiocarbon Laboratory Analyst.
Samples and Services The Radiocarbon Dating Laboratory accepts a variety of samples including: Before mailing any samples, please contact the lab at [email protected] discuss the number and types of samples.
Invoices are generated and sent with results of analysis.
U of I researchers should specify U of I funds (i.e., CFOP) to be used for payment during sample submission.If any organizations or other pertinent information has been inadvertently excluded please contact MCI.