Studying the material remains of past human life and activities may not seem important or exciting to the average Joe unlike the biological sciences.
But archaeology’s aim to understand mankind is a noble endeavor that goes beyond uncovering buried treasures, gathering information, and dating events.
Other potential contaminants include paper, cardboard, cotton wool, string, and cigarette ash.
Anthropologists can describe a people’s physical character, culture, and environmental and social relations.
Archaeologists, on the other hand, provide proof of authenticity of a certain artifact or debunk historical or anthropological findings.
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.
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.Calibration is then done to convert BP years into calendar years.This information is then related to true historical dates.Some samples, like wood, already ceased interacting with the biosphere and have an apparent age at death and linking them to the age of the deposits around the sample would not be wholly accurate.There are also cases when the association between the sample and the deposit is not apparent or easily understood.It is in knowing what made past cultures cease to exist that could provide the key in making sure that history does not repeat itself.