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van der Sluis, L.G., Zazzo, A., Tombret, O., Thil, F., Pétillon, J.M., 2023. Testing The Use Of Xad Resin To Remove Synthetic Contamination From Archaeological Bone Prior To Radiocarbon Dating . Radiocarbon, 1-16.
Museum collections are extremely valuable sources of material for ongoing research, although the conservation history of some objects is not always recorded, which can be problematic for chemical analyses. While most contamination is removed using the acid-base-acid treatment, this may not be the case for cross-linked contamination. The XAD resin protocol was implemented at the radiocarbon (14C) laboratory in the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, and the setup was tested using known age bone samples and a consolidated Palaeolithic bone. Known age samples were consolidated with shellac or Paraloid, aged for a month, treated with or without the XAD resin and 14C dated. Bone blank results showed that XAD resin was able to remove shellac, which was not the case for the ABA-only method. Results from VIRI I were more variable and VIRI F was possibly too young to show the effects of the consolidants. Two 14C dates on the Palaeolithic bone after XAD treatment are statistically the same, while a sample without XAD treatment was significantly older, suggesting that the contaminant was not fully removed by the ABA-only treatment. This study demonstrates the potential of the XAD treatment to clean heritage bone samples stored in museums prior to geochemical analyses.