The Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit (ORAU) undertakes research in many fields where the measurement of the radiocarbon isotope is useful.We provide a radiocarbon dating service for people involved in archaeological and environmental research and carry out research into very low level measurements of radiocarbon in biological specimens.ORAU's dating service operates on a commercial basis and in conjunction with NERC/ARHC which funds the NRCF programme for British archaeologists and English Heritage.
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If you are a scientist interested in submission of pre-prepared material or joint research projects, please contact the Director or Deputy-Director Members of the unit are always happy to give advice on samples for radiocarbon dating.
We have over twenty years of experience in the scientific aspects of the subject and have a staff archaeologist who is able to deal with specifically archaeological questions. The choice of material for dating is an important part of any project and has a bearing on what kinds of statistical analysis will be possible at the end.
It is always a good idea to discuss this with the laboratory if you are unsure.
All samples submitted to the laboratory must be accompanied by a sample submission form that gives the details of the sample we need.
ORAU is happy to perform dating analyses for archaeologists; environmental scientists, biologists or anyone else interested in determining the radiocarbon content of material.
We regularly perform analyses for public and private organisations from around the world.
See the sections on the background to radiocarbon and its applications to determine the types of material suitable for analysis.
This section covers the submission of standard sample types.
In addition, we would ask non-academic submitters to look at our Policy on the dating of Antiquities and sign our terms and conditions.
It is generally easiest to submit information online.
If you are unable to do this for any reason printed forms can be sent (please contact our administrator).