Community Archaeology Radiocarbon Dating (CARD) Fund

The Community Archaeology Radiocarbon Dating (CARD) Fund was established and funded by Archaeological Research Services Ltd and the SUERC Radiocarbon dating laboratory in January 2016. The fund consists of a set number of radiocarbon dates available on an annual basis that British community archaeology groups or projects can apply for. Each year we will fund 10-15 radiocarbon dates. The fund is not open to universities, students, professional archaeological organisations or large charities. It is directed specifically at community groups seeking to obtain radiocarbon dates on key samples from sites they have investigated.


Successful applications will be those where:

  • One or a few radiocarbon dates will generate an important knowledge gain for an object, site or project.
  • The date/s will have a clear significance locally, regionally or nationally.
  • The sample material has been carefully collected and the relationship between the sample and the event that it is being used to date is secure.
  • Suitable material that satisfies the minimum weight needed for that type of material. Typical minimum weights include 0.1-0.5g for charcoal and charred grain or nutshell, 1-5g for bone or antler and 0.1-0.25g for shell.
  • A mechanism is in place for the applicant to publish the dates within two years of receiving it.

How to Apply

The application process is very simple. Just complete the form below and under “Sample Information” fill in all the boxes for your samples. If you have multiple samples fully complete all the boxes for additional samples. Once you have finished inputting your information click “Submit” and your data will be automatically forwarded to us. When you have submitted your application you will receive a confirmation email response to say that we have received it. Your application will be considered together with other applications. The deadline for receiving applications each year is 30th November. The decision on your application will be communicated to you by the end of January the following year. If you have charred wood or plant remains or human or animal bone available for dating and you have not had it identified or assessed then you can still apply, but state this on the application form. If your sample/s has been selected for CARD Fund support then in such cases where you have not yet had your material identified then we will ask you to send the material to Archaeological Research Services Ltd and we will assess the material and identify the most suitable sample for radiocarbon dating purposes.

The Process

The CARD Fund operates via a web-based system to minimise the administrative burden and costs for both Archaeological Research Services Ltd and SUERC – this means more resource is available to plough into the fund and acquire new radiocarbon dates. The only way to apply is via the on-line application form on this web page. If you are successful you will be required to fill in a simple excel form and send your samples, carefully packaged and labelled via recorded delivery, to Archaeological Research Services Ltd where the samples will be checked and assessed prior to sending on to the SUERC laboratory. NB. You must not send samples direct to SUERC. When the sample has been dated you will receive the dating certificate and calibrations via email from Archaeological Research Services Ltd. together with suggested format for presenting and referring to the dates in publications.


Archaeological Research Services Ltd and SUERC reserve the right to publish the radiocarbon dates after two years of the date being sent to the fund recipient. The applicant must acknowledge the CARD Fund when publishing the date/s, and typically this will take the form of “The date/s reported in this publication were funded by the Community Archaeology Radiocarbon Dating Fund”. Archaeological Research Services Ltd and SUERC bear no responsibility for any loss or damage to material submitted to us. We follow professional standards at all times. Archaeological Research Services Ltd is a Registered Organisation of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists.

Application Form

All fields are mandatory.

    Sample 1 Information

    Sample 2 Information

    Sample 3 Information

    Sample 4 Information

    Sample 5 Information

    Sample 6 Information

    Sample 7 Information

    Sample 8 Information


    Contact Us

    You can contact us via the email link below.


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