Radiocarbon Dating Laboratory
The Radiocarbon Dating Laboratory in Lund performs dating on geological and archaeological samples. Examples of material that we date are wood, charcoal, charred seeds, plant macrofossils, peat, bone, burnt bone, mollusc shells, and foraminifera. We also measure 14C in modern samples for determination of biomass content in e.g. plastics, and for environmental monitoring in collaboration with the Biospheric and Anthropogenic Radioactivity (BAR) group at the Division of Nuclear Physics. All analyses are based on Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS).
Natural 14C can be used in numerous applications, of which radiocarbon dating, with the possibility for dating back to about 50000 years, is among the best-known. Radiocarbon dating is based on the radioactive decay of 14C in dead tissues, which can be used to calculate the time that has elapsed since death occurred. This is possible since organisms have the same 14C content as the environment in which they live. After the death of the organism, the carbon which survives decomposition continuously loses 14C in relation to its content of stable 12C.
Our lab performs high-quality analyses and is committed to continual quality control to ensure that the precision and accuracy of our 14C measurements dates are maintained at the highest level. We routinely include secondary standards of different ages and sizes in our measurements. We also regularly participate in the international 14C lab inter-comparison efforts, such as SIRI (Scott et al. Radiocarbon 2017) to test and ensure the quality of our analyses.
Research at our lab has contributed to the improvement of the recently published IntCal20 calibration curve crucial to transfer 14C ages into calendar ages (Adolphi et al. QSR 2017, Muscheler et al., Radiocarbon 2020, Reimer et al., Radiocarbon 2020).
The basic price is 3900 SEK (excl. VAT) for one normal 14C-dating. We offer discounts when large numbers of samples are submitted. Follow the link below for further information about our services and prices.
At present (January 2024) it takes 2-3 months (excluding periods when the laboratory is closed for holidays) from the arrival of a sample until we report the result to the customer. This applies to samples of normal size, and the time varies depending on the type of material. Reporting time for fast handling is maximum 6 weeks but normally 3-4 weeks.
All samples submitted for dating must be accompanied by a sample description form (doc, new tab).
Customer inquiries and sample submission
Customer inquiries, geological and archaeological samples
Associate professor Mats Rundgren
+46 46 222 7856
c14 [at] geol [dot] lu [dot] se
Customer inquiries, active samples, aerosol samples
Associate professor Kristina Stenström
+46 46 222 7643
Kristina [dot] Stenstrom [at] nuclear [dot] lu [dot] se (Kristina[dot]Stenstrom[at]nuclear[dot]lu[dot]se)