The second difficulty arises from the extremely low abundance of C, making it incredibly difficult to measure and extremely sensitive to contamination.
This method requires less than 1g of bone, but few countries can afford more than one or two AMSs, which cost more than A$500,000.
Australia has two machines dedicated to radiocarbon analysis, and they are out of reach for much of the developing world.
Moving away from techniques, the most exciting thing about radiocarbon is what it reveals about our past and the world we live in.
Radiocarbon dating was the first method that allowed archaeologists to place what they found in chronological order without the need for written records or coins.
Some of the first radiocarbon dates produced showed that the Scottish tombs were thousands of years older than those in Greece.