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Radiocarbon dating was first attempted on the specimen in 1988, and a date of 30,900 ± 900 BP was obtained.Doubts were raised later because trace animal collagen glue was found on the specimen.But if they are earlier than 1485, then they can’t be Richard’s remains.Radiocarbon dating is a commonly used technique which relies on the fact that, although 99% of carbon atoms have six protons and six neutrons (carbon-12), about 1% have an extra neutron (carbon-13) and about one atom in a trillion has two extra neutrons (carbon-14).They showed, using micro CT scanning and extensive comparative work, that the specimens are anatomically modern human.The laboratory has over 30 years of experience in the application of radiocarbon dating and associated research and is happy to help with all aspects of the radiocarbon dating process from project design to calibration and statistical analysis.The information for such analysis can be entered using the user interface or in the form of text command files. The Int Cal13 and Marine13 data files are bundled with Ox Cal (with the kind permission of the compilers).
Also see our information on methods for further information including the expected precision of our measurements.
The SUERC results showed a 95% probability that the bone samples dated from around AD1430-1460, and over in Oxford the results both came out at around AD1412-1449, again with a 95% confidence. Radiocarbon dating of marine organisms can be out by up to several hundred years, and this effect can occur to a lesser degree in terrestrial life where sea-food forms part of the diet.
The mass spectrometry of the Greyfriars bone samples reveals that the individual in question had a high-protein diet including a significant proportion of seafood.
This enables the best use to be made of the radiocarbon technique.
In all cases we encourage a collaborative approach to dating projects where we work together with users of the facility to answer the relevant research questions.
In this paper, we summarize the main chemical pretreatment protocols currently used for AMS radiocarbon dating at the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, updating the protocols last described by Hedges et al.