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Natural contamination pertains to the introduction of contaminants to the sample by its surrounding material.
For example, bone samples can be contaminated by the presence of limestone or organic acids in the soil (like humic or fulvic acids) where the bones were found.
It must be noted that radiocarbon dating is only applicable to materials that were once part of a living organism.
Bones, shells, wood, charcoal, peat, linen, wool, and parchment are the common materials submitted for radiocarbon testing.
Labeling of bone samples with animal glue is an example of artificial contamination.
Other contaminants that may be introduced during sample collection and packaging are biocides, conservation chemicals like polyvinyl acetate and polyethylene glycol, cigarette ash, and labels and wrappers that are made of paper.
Materials such as charcoal, wood, peat, and textiles typically undergo the acid-alkali-acid (AAA) method before radiocarbon dating.
Learn more Materials such as sediments and soils typically undergo acid washes (no alkali) before radiocarbon dating.
Limestone is of geological origin and would be much older than any archaeological sample; hence, inclusion of limestone during the carbon 14 dating would make the sample older than its true age.
Humic and fulvic acids are naturally present in soil where microbial degradation of plants and animals has occurred.
Learn More Materials such as shells and other materials where a date on the inorganic carbon (carbonate) is to be done typically undergo acid etching before pretreatment.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating