A new flow cytometry method enabling rapid purification of fossil pollen from terrestrial sediments for AMS radiocarbon dating

  • Tennant R
  • Jones R
  • Brock F
 et al. 
  • 25

    Readers

    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 8

    Citations

    Citations of this article.

Abstract

Radiocarbon (14C) accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) dating has played a significant role towards improving our understanding of the timing of events and rates of change in archaeological and environmental records over the last 50 000 years. Although it is not always possible to find suitable macrofossils for 14C dating, microfossils, notably plant pollen, are a viable alternative. Obtaining preserved pollen samples of known provenance and of sufficient quantity for dating by 14C AMS is, however, challenging because of time-consuming methods of extraction and purification and possible contamination from other organic material. Here we report a new, rapid and straightforward method using flow cytometry (FCM) to distinguish, sort and collect sufficient quantities of fossil pollen with minimal contamination from lake sediments for radiocarbon dating. Using this approach, we demonstrate 14C AMS ages that date back to at least 40ka BP. While future work may be required to refine purification methodologies for different sample types and to precisely quantify the dating limit of this approach, FCM dating of microfossils shows considerable promise in generating robust geochronological frameworks for sequences that have previously proved problematic. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Accelerator mass spectrometry
  • Flow cytometry
  • Lacustrine (lake) sediments
  • Pollen dating
  • Radiocarbon dating

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document

Get full text

Authors

  • Richard K. Tennant

  • Richard T. Jones

  • Fiona Brock

  • Charlotte Cook

  • Chris S.M. Turney

  • John Love

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free