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Common materials for radiocarbon dating are: The radiocarbon formed in the upper atmosphere is mostly in the form of carbon dioxide. Because the carbon present in a plant comes from the atmosphere in this way, the radio of radiocarbon to stable carbon in the plant is virtually the same as that in the atmosphere.
Plant eating animals (herbivores and omnivores) get their carbon by eating plants.
Outside the charnel mound another extraordinary grave can now be shown to be likely to relate to the Vikings in Repton as well.
The new radiocarbon dates can now place this burial into the time period of 872-885 A. Cat Jarman added: "The date of the Repton charnel bones is important because we know very little about the first Viking raiders that went on to become part of considerable Scandinavian settlement of England.It seemed to contain a mix of bones of different ages, meaning that they could not all have been from the Viking Age.Now, new dating proves that they are all consistent with a single date in the 9th century and therefore with the Viking Great Army."Although these new radiocarbon dates don't prove that these were Viking army members it now seems very likely.It also shows how new techniques can be used to reassess and finally solve centuries old mysteries." ### Paper: 'The Viking Great Army in England: new dates from the Repton charnel' - by Catrine L.