With radiocarbon dating dating from time immemorial

As explained below, the radiocarbon date tells us when the organism was alive (not when the material was used).

with radiocarbon dating-41with radiocarbon dating-57with radiocarbon dating-3

All animals in the food chain, including carnivores, get their carbon indirectly from plant material, even if it is by eating animals which themselves eat plants.

The net effect of this is that all living organisms have the same radiocarbon to stable carbon ratio as the atmosphere.

For radiocarbon dating to be possible, the material must once have been part of a living organism.

This means that things like stone, metal and pottery cannot usually be directly dated by this means unless there is some organic material embedded or left as a residue.

An Anglo-Saxon building, possibly a royal mausoleum, was cut down and partially ruined, before being turned into a burial chamber.

One room was packed with the commingled remains of at least 264 people, around 20 percent of whom were women.

The excavators suggested this may have been a ritual grave, paralleling accounts of sacrificial killings to accompany Viking dead from historical accounts elsewhere in the Viking world.

The new radiocarbon dates can now place this burial into the time period of 872-885 A. Cat Jarman added: "The date of the Repton charnel bones is important because we know very little about the first Viking raiders that went on to become part of considerable Scandinavian settlement of England.

are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to Eurek Alert!

by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the Eurek Alert system.

Outside the charnel mound another extraordinary grave can now be shown to be likely to relate to the Vikings in Repton as well.

Tags: , ,