20 June 2016

Last (?) batch of radiocarbon samples

We should have had all our radiocarbon samples ready in April. That didn't quite work; we pushed the deadline back a few months. And now I'm sending in the last batch that will make it before the deadline. We may well send in more, later; samples that result from student work, for instance. But this is a bit of an occasion! Some of my samples are lighter than the radiocarbon lab would like; maybe they have to be sent overseas to a lab that can cope with such small amounts of calcite. We'll see! These are still samples taken from material we subsampled in Daventry. And some samples from earlier batches came back too old; I must have accidentally picked reworked forams. It can be hard to avoid. Very old forams can look quite youthful.

Now that the bulk of the sampling is done, I hope to be able to focus on thinking about what it all means. But not immediately; first there's the fieldwork in South Wales to be done. And after that, of course, preparations for the student assignment. I have to give an introductory talk about what they are supposed to do; last year, the students must have paid a rather modest amount of attention, as their reports showed no sign of heeding the advidce I had given in it. This year asked for a different approach; I'll have to grab them by the collar and get them engaged. Whether they like it or not! What they certainly won't like is not doing well and getting a low grade. So I'll have to rigorously change that lecture. But in between all that teaching-related stuff I should make sure I write some spiffing articles about the work I have done the past two years...

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