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Carbon-14 is produced in the upper atmosphere when cosmic rays bombard nitrogen atoms.The ensuing atomic interactions create a steady supply of c14 that rapidly diffuses throughout the atmosphere.In contrast, methane made from petroleum products had no measurable radioactivity.This discovery meant that there are three naturally occurring isotopes of carbon: Whereas carbon-12 and carbon-13 are stable isotopes, carbon-14 is unstable or radioactive.We can advise on the suitability of different materials and the most effective pretreatments.

This allows us to discuss the sampling and measurement procedure with you at the time.But if they are earlier than 1485, then they can’t be Richard’s remains.Radiocarbon dating is a commonly used technique which relies on the fact that, although 99% of carbon atoms have six protons and six neutrons (carbon-12), about 1% have an extra neutron (carbon-13) and about one atom in a trillion has two extra neutrons (carbon-14).Previous dating put the bones at around 28,000 years old, which raised the possibility they belonged to a late-surviving group of Neanderthals that may have overlapped with – and interacted or even mated with – modern humans.Early human bones of a similar age have also been found at Vindija, as have mid-Palaeolithic tools and other archaeological artefacts.

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