Radiocarbon dating in archaeology

Organic matter, being porous, can easily be contaminated by organic carbon in groundwater.This increases the C12 content and interferes with the carbon ratio.Radiocarbon or C14 dating employs complex systems of measuring the unstable isotopes in once living matter.

It is a technique that can yield absolute dates with accuracy up to approximately 5000 years before present.These anomalies have driven archaeologists to question their earlier conclusions about archaeological sites and their respective civilizations founded on artefact dating.Many theories about societies and their cultures have been based solely on C14 dating results.As with any radioactive particle it decays over time. Libby in 1948 at the University of Chicago, showed that C14, tested in his laboratory, decayed at the rate that, projected out, would cause half of its weight to be lost in 5568 years.Hence, the term ‘half-life’ was given to radioactive substances.

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