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The usefulness of radiocarbon dates in archaeology greatly depends on both the stratigraphic relationship of the sample submitted and on the origin and homogeneity of the measured carbon.For very small samples, stratigraphic relationships can raise additional problems of movement.The Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) technique enables small samples to be dated.This means small samples previously considered to be unsuitable are more likely to be datable; scientists can now select from a wider range of sample types; dates can be made on individual species or different fractions; greater numbers of radiocarbon measurements can be made resulting in more detailed chronological evaluations; more stringent chemical treatments can be applied to remove contaminants; and valuable items can be sub-sampled with minimal damage.

While the array of dates obtained (which range from c. 25 000 BP) show a satisfactory correlation with other archaeological data, there are mismatches which suggest that some motifs were often imitated by later artists, and/or that the mineral accretions continued to form periodically, perhaps continuously, as a regional phenomenon over a long period of time. Proceedings of the first rock-picture dating workshop held at Woods Centre, Lucas Heights, 8 to 10 February 1996 under the auspices of AIATSIS, ANSTO and AINSE: 35–9. Consequently, AMS dating is invaluable to a wide range of disciplines including archaeology, art history, and environmental and biological sciences.and graphitisation lines in 2010 has enabled us to quadruple our throughput and reduce our turnaround time for AMS (now averaging 6 weeks), while maintaining our quality control, improving our background limits and reducing sample size requirements.We have dated two sites in southeastern Australia using traditional radiometric methods with minimal pretreatment.Results yielded an inconsistent chronology, affected by contamination with younger humic materials.

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