Dating of cremated bones
van der Plicht, J
When dating unburnt bone, bone collagen, the organic fraction of the bone, is used. Collagen does not survive the heat of the cremation pyre, so dating of cremated bone has been considered impossible. Structural carbonate in the mineral fraction of the bone, however, survives the cremation process. We developed a method of dating cremated bone by accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS), using this carbonate fraction. Here we present results for a variety of prehistoric sites and ages, showing a remarkable success rate for this method.