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Offer for radiocarbon dating of geological and archaeological objects


Absolute dating by radioisotope methods including the one using carbon isotope 14C are widely applicable in geology, geomorphology, palaeogeography, palaeobotany, and in archaeology. By creating absolute time scales for different events in the history of Earth scientists are able to reconstruct changes in the climate and environment in the past, and the history of colonization and of development of human culture.


Measurements of natural concentrations of 14C isotope in samples of organic or inorganic matter containing carbon enable assessment of their isotope age, i.e. the time since their burial in the Earth's crust. This isotope age may be converted into calendar age by applying established calibration procedures.


  • Determination of conventional radiocarbon ages and calendar ages of geological and archaeological samples containing organic carbon, not older than ca. 50 000 years.
  • Determination of radiocarbon ages of carbonate deposits including the determination of the reservoir effect.
  • Determination of radiocarbon concentration/radiocarbon age of water samples.
  • Construction of age-depth models for continuous deposits (e.g. peat and lake sediments).
  • Statistical analysis of dates for construction of chronologies for archaeological sites.
  • Reconstruction of past changes in the environment based on isotope studies of calcareous tufas, lacustrine deposits and speleothems.

We prefer cooperation by participation in research projects or some other way of scientific cooperation, that would conclude interpretation of research results and joint publications. Our scientific staff has knowledge and experience in cooperation with representatives of Earth Sciences, such as palaeogeography, geology, palaeobotany and archeology (see our list of publications).


AMS Dating

dr Natalia Piotrowska
tel. +48 32 237 26 51

prof. Anna Pazdur
tel. +48 32 237 22 54

LSC dating

DSc PhD Eng Adam Michczyński
tel. +48 32 237 24 88


Silesian University of Technology
Institute of Physics
Gliwice Radiocarbon Laboratory
Konarskiego 22B
44-100 Gliwice

Sample requirements and estimated precision

Sample material Amount of sample
Standard for radiometric LSC dating Minimum for radiometric LSC dating Standard for AMS dating Minimum for AMS dating
Wood 20-50 g 3 g 10 mg 2 mg
Charcoal 10-30 g 1 g 10 mg 2 mg
Peat 50-100 g 2 g 50 mg 5 mg
Bone (1) 200-300 g 30 g 5-10 g 1 g
Carbonate/Shell 50-80 g 3 g 50 mg 20 mg
Organic sediment/ Soil/Mud (2) 500 g 100 g 2 g 100 mg
Water - - 2 l -
Δ T [years] (3) 30-50 >200 40-100 60->200


(1) The amount necessary for radiocarbon determination strongly depends on the degree of collagen preservation in bone.

(2) The amount necessary for radiocarbon determination strongly depends on organic carbon contents in the sample. The numbers given here are based on the assumption of at least 1% organic carbon.

(3) The precision of a radiocarbon determination (so-called "laboratory error") depends on the amount of carbon extracted from the sample after the required preparation technique (larger sample = larger precision) and also on the age of sample (older samples = smaller precision).

Practical recommendations

  1. Try to collect more samples then necessary for one dating to provide material for additional dating check. Estimate whether the amount of sample is sufficient to provide the required dating precision
  2. Try to evaluate possibilities of contamination (e.g. humic acid infiltration from higher layers, root penetration, visible traces of animal activity, geological complications, etc.)
  3. Pack the samples in double plastic cover or plastic or glass containers. Attach immediately the appropriate label indicating name of the site, sample serial number, date and name of collector.
    Important: Do not use paper or cloth to pack the samples. Do not attach paper labels to organic samples. Do not insert paper labels to the bottles containing organic samples.
  4. Waters samples should be taken to new, clean plastic containers. The containers should be filled to the full.
  5. Remember that botanical or zoological identification of the sample will not be possible after treatment in the radiocarbon laboratory.
  6. Send the sample to the radiocarbon dating laboratory as originally packed and enclose complete information requested by the laboratory using appropriate laboratory description form.


Technique Price per sample gross [PLN]
Radiometric LSC (Liquid Scintillation Counting) technique 575 + 23% VAT(4)
AMS (Accelerator Mass Spectrometry) technique 1300 + 23% VAT (23%)(4)


(4)For foreign customers/payers a duty fees VAT is passed on the purchaser services, provided that the customer is liable for VAT in your country.

Current exchange rates could be found on the NBP website.

The prices listed above are the basic ones applied for measurements of individual samples. In case of orders comprising measurements for more than 5 samples and in case of scientific institutions the price is agreed individually with the submitter and are lower than basic prices.

In case of our participation in scientific projects as contractor party and planned joint publication of results the price may be lowered by 30%. In addition, in case of signed agreement for scientific cooperation the financial system is different, too. We encourage to contact us while proposal is in preparation or at the early stage of realisation of the project.

Fast radiocarbon LSC dating.

In case when fast results are needed we can perform fast measurements. Below approximate prices are presented.

  • up to 10 working days; base price + 300 PLN (no VAT)

For fast measurements please contact (tel.: +48 32-237-24-88 or +48 32-237-22-16) before samples submission.

Submission of samples

The samples should be accompanied by filled sample description forms in either paper or electronic format. The form is downloadable as a MS Word file or PDF file. In the case most of the information about the samples would be repeated (e.g. samples from one core, the same material, differing only in depth), one description form may be sufficient.

The samples should also come with a purchase order from the submitter in accordance with the internal regulations of the submitter's institution. In general, the order should contain data required in further official process, including registration in a database and writing out the invoice, such as:

  1. Full name and address of the institution
  2. VAT number of the institution
  3. Name of the contact person (recommended also the telephone number and e-mail address)
  4. The subject or name of the project for which the dating is being performed and the aim of the dating (shortly, in 2-3 sentences).
  5. The number of samples and the total sum of money for analysis.

Report and payment

The submitter will obtain a report containing results of measurements when they are completed, usually several months from submission depending on the number and type of samples.

Payment is due upon receipt of the invoice written out and sent by the financial office of the Silesian University of Technology.