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Absolute dating represents the absolute age of the sample before the present.

Historical documents and calendars can be used to find such absolute dates; however, when working in a site without such documents, it is hard for absolute dates to be determined.

Current instrumentation is reviewed with an emphasis on background reduction features and consequent limits of detection.

In the case of LSC, the background reduction features include enhanced passive shielding, anticoincidence (active) shielding, and various forms of pulse-shape analysis.

Although relative dating can work well in certain areas, several problems arise.

Limitations and calibration: When Libby was first determining radiocarbon dates, he found that before 1000 BC his dates were earlier than calendar dates.

He had assumed that amounts of Carbon-14 in the atmosphere had remained constant through time.

C) by liquid scintillation counting (LSC) and gas proportional counting (GPC) is reviewed.

Typical sample size requirements are discussed, together with the conversion of sample carbon to an appropriate product for the measurement of the β-particles emitted during , which is the most commonly used.

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