Food crust

AMS radiocarbon dating of food crust

In certain instances, food crust can also undergo AMS radiocarbon dating. Interestingly, the analysis does not focus on the ceramic fragments themselves but rather on tiny residues of food crust found on the interior walls of pottery vessels. Before conducting radiocarbon (14C) dating, all samples are carefully chosen and subjected to pre-treatment, with consideration for factors such as the type of food crust, the quantity available, and their overall condition. Subsequently, the samples are graphitized, a crucial step in the carbon dating process, demanding a high level of expertise to ensure dependable and accurate results. At the VILNIUS RADIOCARBON laboratory, samples go through pre-treatment using top-quality chemicals and consumables available in the market. The laboratory strictly adheres to internally approved methodologies as outlined in the provided protocol, ensuring the highest standards in the analysis of food crustsamples. On demand we can measure and d13C stable isotopes values, using Isoprime VISION isotope ratio mass spectrometer from Elementar GmbH (Germany) results.


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Pretreatment protocol for food crust samples

Preferred sample size: >20 mg

Minimum sample size: 10 mg

Carbonized organic residues collected from both the interior and exterior of potsherds can be used for dating archaeological pottery. However, it is very important to separate the organic fraction from the pottery itself. A gentle pretreatment of carbonized residues consists of demineralization with 1M HCl for 1 hour followed by 15 min ultrasonication in fresh 1M HCl. The samples are then rinsed in ultrapure water 4 times, then being ultrasonicated in fresh ultrapure water for 5 min approximately 6 times (until the water remains clear). The last step is to acidify the samples for 5 min in 1M HCl and rinse twice with ultrapure water.

Before sending the sample we recommend to check here, how your sample’s result in the dating certificate will look: here

If you need consultation regarding correct sampling – do not hesitate to call or write a message with the sample photos

Saulėtekio av. 3, LT-10257
Vilnius, Lithuania

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