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Hi Chloé
I agree with Andrew, but I haven’t ever sent samples from archaeological ribs. The dating lab will ask for a weight of bone so you can sample a smaller area from an element with denser cortical bone. I have been asked for up to c.2g for a radiocarbon sample.

If choosing a bone to rc sample from a complete or partial skeleton I would think about the following aspects

Preservation – dating specialists have said to me that you can’t determine how well preserved collagen is and therefore whether a bone will return a date by looking at it, but would avoid bones that appear poorly preserved or are light in weight. Also avoid burnt bones (unless fully calcined)

Minimising loss of information – try to take a sample that doesn’t impact on zooarchaeological data (ie morphological features used for determining taxa, sex etc, measurement anchor points, pathologies, carcass processing marks). If it’s a partial skeleton I would probably choose to sample from an element for which the other side (or another repeat) is present.

Avoid contaminants – avoid any bones that have been treated with chemicals (eg consolidants) or areas of bones which have been labelled.

I also fully record and take photos prior to sampling and record which bones have been sampled in my datasets

There is some more information in a free publication ‘Science and the Dead’  which is focussed on human remains but is obviously also applicable to animals http://www.archaeologyuk.org/apabe/pdf/Science_and_the_Dead.pdf
best wishes
Fay


Fay Worley PhD
Zooarchaeologist
Historic England, Fort Cumberland, Fort Cumberland Road, Portsmouth PO4 9LD
Fort Cumberland reception: 02392856704



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From: Analysis of animal remains from archaeological sites [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of MILLARD, ANDREW R.
Sent: 07 June 2019 09:23
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ZOOARCH] C14 and choice of sample

I think what Richard describes are favoured samples for DNA. For radiocarbon almost any bone will do. Cortical bones are often favoured, but I often use ribs because they rarely carry diagnostic features and are frequently already fragmented, so the damage and loss of other information is minimal.

Best wishes
Andrew
--
Dr. Andrew Millard
Associate Professor of Archaeology,
Durham University, UK
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From: Richard Wright <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: 06 June 2019 23:23
Subject: Re: C14 and choice of sample

Chloé

I can't speak for deer anatomy, but in the case of human skeletons the favoured parts are:

1.
A tooth with a pulp cavity, where the ends of the roots are sealed.

2.
The petrous portion of the temporal bone, because of its density.

I wonder whether deer anatomy parallels the property of human anatomy, so far as those parts go.

Regards,

Richard


----- Original Message -----
From:
"Chloé Genies" <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>>

To:
<[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>>
Cc:

Sent:
Thu, 6 Jun 2019 15:26:06 +0100
Subject:
[ZOOARCH] C14 and choice of sample


Dear zooarchers,

I have to send samples for analysis from two deer burials. Which bone should I choose? First of all, are there bones to favor?

Thanks for your help

Chloé

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