Radio carbon dating limitations
It is important that the radiocarbon scientists and archaeologists agree on the sampling strategy before starting the excavation so time, effort, and resources will not be wasted and meaningful result will be produced after the carbon dating process.It must be stressed that archaeologists need to interact with radiocarbon laboratories first before excavation due to several factors.1.The proportion of carbon 14 in the sample examined provides an indication of the time elapsed since death of the sample’s source.
The process of radiocarbon dating starts with the analysis of the carbon 14 left in a sample.
Labels attached to the packaging materials must not fade or rub off easily.
Glass containers can be used when storing radiocarbon dating samples, but they are susceptible to breakage and can be impractical when dealing with large samples.
Great care must be exercised when linking an event with the context and the context with the sample to be processed by radiocarbon dating.
An archaeologist must also make sure that only the useful series of samples are collected and processed for carbon dating and not every organic material found in the excavation site.