Water rich in dissolved ancient calcium carbonates, commonly known as hard water, is the most common reason for the freshwater reservoir effect. Although it has been known for more than 60 years, it is still less well-recognized by archaeologists than the marine reservoir effect.
The aim of this study is to examine the order of magnitude and degree of variability of the freshwater reservoir effect over short and long timescales.
The old wood effect or old wood problem is a pitfall encountered in the archaeological technique of radiocarbon dating.
A sample will provide misleading or confusing results if materials of different ages are deposited in the same context.
Numerous reports of successful radiocarbon dating of cremated bones have emerged during the last decade.
The success of radiocarbon dating cremated bones depends on the temperature during burning and the degree of recrystallisation of the inorganic bone matrix.
Radiocarbon dating of recent water samples, aquatic plants, and animals, shows that age differences of up to 2000 C years can occur within one river.
The freshwater reservoir effect has also implications for radiocarbon dating of Mesolithic pottery from inland sites of the Ertebølle culture in Northern Germany.The possibility that something (organic) was already in situ must always be considered, especially if the results appear suspiciously early.The old wood problem can appear in marine archaeology.Charcoal and wood possess a high molecular weight, so rigorous pretreatments are able to be implemented without losing large amounts of sample.Its major source of error has been 'inbuilt', or 'presample' age (Mc Fadgen, 1982).During cremation bones undergo major morphological and mineralogical changes which have raised some interesting questions and discussion on the origin of the carbon source in archaeologically cremated bones.