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CitationAscough, P. L., Cook, G. T., Dugmore, A. J., Scott, E. M., & Freeman, S. P. H. T. (2005). Influence of mollusk species on marine ΔR determinations. Radiocarbon, 47(3), 433-440.
AbstractRadiocarbon ages were measured on replicate samples of burnt grain and 5 mollusk species collected from a single sealed layer at an archaeological site (Hornish Point) on the west coast of South Uist, Scotland. The aim was to examine the impact of using different mollusk species on Delta-R determinations that are calculated using the paired terrestrial/marine sample approach. The mollusk species examined inhabit a range of environments and utilize a variety of food sources within the intertidal zone. Several authors have suggested that these factors may be responsible for observed variations in the 14C activity of mollusk shells that were contemporaneous in a single location. This study found no significant variation in the 14C ages of the mollusk species, and consequently, no significant variation in calculated values of Delta-R. The implication is that in an area where there are no carboniferous rocks or significant local inputs of freshwater to the surface ocean, any of a range of marine mollusk species can be used in combination with short-lived terrestrial material from the same secure archaeological context to accurately determine a R value for a particular geographic location and period in time.