The effects of these depositional processes may not be quantifiable but should not be overlooked because the carbon 14 dating results might turn out to be too old for the context being dated.About AMS Dating Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) dating involves accelerating ions to extraordinarily high kinetic energies followed by mass analysis.The “old wood” problem must be taken into account to avoid wrong conclusions when linking artifacts to event and context.Delayed use and reuse are processes that also contribute to the “old wood” problem.In this method, the sample is in liquid form and a scintillator is added.
AMS labs prefer to carbon date charcoal and wood because these materials do not need complex pretreatment.
Gas proportional counting is a conventional radiometric dating technique that counts the beta particles emitted by a given sample. In this method, the carbon sample is first converted to carbon dioxide gas before measurement in gas proportional counters takes place.
Liquid scintillation counting is another radiocarbon dating technique that was popular in the 1960s.
Any charcoal or wood sample that is carbon dated will have an apparent age, which may result in errors of up to hundreds of years unless short-lived tree species or twigs are selected for radiocarbon dating.
A sample’s radiocarbon age can tell us when the organism was alive and not when the material from that organism was used.