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Sending Samples for Radiocarbon Dating or Other Analysis

Sending your samples to Aeon is easy! Just follow these simple steps:

1. Prepare your samples for submission

You know your samples better than anyone. Whenever possible, remove roots and other obvious contaminants from the portion of the sample that you want dated.

Samples should contain at least one milligram of carbon after pretreatment. Standard pretreatment procedures typically remove about half of the original sample material. Specialized treatments such as ABOX, wood cellulose extraction and bone pretreatment remove even more, so plan accordingly. Feel free to contact us if you need help determining how much material to send.

The recommended sample sizes listed below are conservative. We can often process samples that are smaller. Please contact us to discuss your available options.

Material Recommended size
Bone 300-3000 mg
Charcoal 6-15 mg
Peat 15-20 mg
Plant remains 10-20 mg
Sediment 1-2 g
Shells 15-20 mg
Soils 1-2 g
Wood (well preserved) 6-15 mg
Wood (degraded) 10-20 mg
Wood (for cellulose extraction) 20-40 mg
Note: The masses in this table are for clean, dry material.

2. Complete a Sample Information Form

You only need one form for each shipment, but you must uniquely identify each sample submitted. If you have samples with different processing requirements, please use a separate form for each type of processing.

3. Pack your samples and ship them to Aeon

It is best to dry your samples before sending them to Aeon. If samples must be delivered wet or moist, please indicate this on your sample information form.

The ideal sample containers are zip-lock bags, although almost any sealable plastic or glass container is acceptable as long as it is packed appropriately. Clearly mark each sample container with the same unique identification number listed on your sample information form. If your samples are such that they may leak from zip-lock bags, then double-bag each sample or wrap them in foil before bagging them.

We recommend shipping samples to our laboratory via courier services such as Federal Express, UPS, or DHL. Shipments from outside the US should be labeled “Samples for scientific analysis. No commercial value. Will be destroyed by analysis.”.

Our shipping address is

Aeon Laboratories, LLC
5835 N Genematas Dr
Tucson, AZ 85704-5919 USA

Be sure to enclose a completed copy of your Sample Information Form.

4. Aeon dates your samples

Aeon will email radiocarbon analysis results to you, almost always within 30 calendar days. If you need faster results, we offer an Expedite Service that can significantly reduce turnaround time.

Stable isotope (δ13C) analysis often takes a little longer than the radiocarbon analysis. When this happens, we report the radiocarbon results immediately and amend the report as soon as the δ13C results become available. Note that the δ13C value does not affect the radiocarbon analysis or the reported radiocarbon age. Stable isotope analysis is undertaken solely to provide supplemental information such as photosynthetic pathway, and is conducted independently of radiocarbon analysis. If you don't need δ13C information, you may wish to consider omitting stable isotope analysis.


By submitting your samples to Aeon, you agree that the requested services shall be performed subject to our Terms and Conditions, and that you will pay Aeon the price for the services according to the current Price Schedule.

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