Unfortunately, tree ring dating is itself not entirely reliable, especially the "long chronology" employed to calibrate the carbon dating method.
The result is that carbon dating is accurate for only a few thousand years. This fact is born out in how carbon dating results are used by scientists in the scientific literature.
photo edating - Ink carbon dating
Normal handling will not contaminate most sample types, however, samples should be protected from sources of extraneous carbon.
Charcoal and wood samples should be wrapped in aluminum foil or heavy plastic and should not be wrapped in paper.
We also offer liquid scintillation analysis using an extra low background Quantulus 1220 for high precision measurements on benzene.
Very small samples (less than 300 mg) are analyzed by accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS).
The lab is based in Miami, Florida, and is the world leader in carbon-14 analyses since 1979.
It has forwarding offices in Australia, Brazil, China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and the UK.
The lab accepts biobased products, biofuels, waste-derived fuels and their combustion emissions (CO2 gas).
Read More Please be informed that the Miami lab will be closed during these periods (all dates inclusive): May 29 (Memorial Day) July 4 (Independence Day) September 4 (Labor Day) November 23-24 (Thanksgiving Holiday) December 22, 25, 26 (Christmas Holiday) January 1, 2018 (New Year’s Day) As part of the continuous efforts to enhance the laboratory’s value-added services, Beta Analytic now provides C: N, %C and %N measurements on collagen extracted from non-cremated bones in addition to δ15N and δ13C at no additional cost for samples sent for radiocarbon dating.
Unfortunately, we aren't able to reliably date artifacts beyond several thousand years.
Scientists have tried to extend confidence in the carbon dating method further back in time by calibrating the method using tree ring dating.
A table of optimum and minimum sample sizes is provided below.