Aarhus Universitets segl

Sample size

A normal size target (pretreated sample mounted in a cathode) requires 1 mg of pure carbon to be analysed in the accelerator. Hence due to the different carbon content in different materials the actual sample size to be submitted to the laboratory varies between different materials and also the state of preservation (especially applicable for bone samples). Smaller sample targets (down to 0.1 mg C) can be analysed but will result in larger analytical uncertanties and generally have a higher risk of failing.

If possible we prefer larger than recommended sample sizes as this allow for pretreatment experiments (extraction of different fractions) and additional checks (if needed).


Wood, charcoal and charred macrofossils

 3-20 mg



10-20 mg

10-20 mg

Plant macrofossils4-20 mgBones

~100-800 mg depends on bone preservation

Peat4-20 mgBurnt bones~1.5 - 3 g
Bulk (sediment)

Depends on carbon content

Wood (cellulose)10-20 mg
Textile10-20 mg



For mortar dating please contact the laboratory prior to sample collection