Radiocarbon dating of bones can be very useful in archaeological contexts, especially when dealing with funerary deposits lacking material culture, e.g. 14C measurements of bone samples are usually performed on the extracted collagen residue.The content and the quality of collagen can vary significantly, mainly depending on bone preservation and diagenesis.those with ages close to the limit of the dating method.Development of preparative methods requires sufficient amounts of bone material as well as the possibility of verification of the ages.Only hard parts, like bones and teeth, can become fossils.
Among these, the C/N atomic ratio is considered a good parameter for detecting low-quality collagen and possibly contaminated samples.
The excavations in 2003/2004 provided additional material for 14C dating.
An age of 45,870 ± 1080 BP was obtained on base (Na OH step) cleaned gelatin from mammoth bone, which was very close to the age of 45,430 ± 1020 BP obtained for the peat layer that buried the mammoths.
Generally speaking, environmental conditions such as low p H level of soils, high temperatures, and percolating groundwaters, typical of arid and tropical zones, can affect the preservation of collagen; at the same time, bones recovered in such environments are more likely to be contaminated with carbon from the surrounding environment.
Possible contamination of samples can also occur in temperate zones.