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"The new facility is an exciting addition both for Penn State and for the larger scientific community.

In this video, she compares conventional and accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon dating.

The measurement time is much more rapid – you don’t have to sit around and wait for the carbon-14s to decay – and also the precision is better.

Well unfortunately, AMS dating is expensive because of the amount of equipment that’s involved and because the sample preparation is a lot more labour intensive.

Douglas Kennett, professor of anthropology at Penn State, recently confirmed a correlation between the Maya Long Count calendar and the European calendar by AMS dating small slivers of wood from a carved Maya lintel.

Freeman and Kennett are co-directors of the new AMS Carbon-14 Laboratory, which is expected to be fully operational in early 2016.

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