Organic material carbon dating


12-Jul-2017 16:07

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Radiocarbon analyses are carried out at specialized laboratories around the world (see a list of labs at: When a biological organism dies, the radioactive carbon in its body begins to break down or decay.This process of decay occurs at a regular rate and can be measured.

In contrast to relative dating techniques whereby artifacts were simply designated as "older" or "younger" than other cultural remains based on the presence of fossils or stratigraphic position, 14C dating provided an easy and increasingly accessible way for archaeologists to construct chronologies of human behavior and examine temporal changes through time at a finer scale than what had previously been possible.

Probably the most important factor to consider when using radiocarbon dating is if external factors, whether through artificial contamination, animal disturbance, or human negligence, contributed to any errors in the determinations.