Radiocarbon dating bone futuristic dating sites

Desmond Clark (1979:7) observed that without radiocarbon dating "we would still be foundering in a sea of imprecisions sometime bred of inspired guesswork but more often of imaginative speculation." And as Colin Renfrew (1973) aptly noted over 30 years ago, the "Radiocarbon Revolution" transformed how archaeologists could interpret the past and track cultural changes through a period in human history where we see among other things the massive migration of peoples settling virtually every major region of the world, the transition from hunting and gathering to more intensive forms of food production, and the rise of city-states.

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.

This process of decay occurs at a regular rate and can be measured.

By comparing the amount of carbon 14 remaining in a sample with a modern standard, we can determine when the organism died, as for example, when a shellfish was collected or a tree cut down.

He said that his team and the laboratories they employed took special care to avoid contamination.

That included protecting the samples, avoiding cracked areas in the bones, and meticulous pre-cleaning of the samples with chemicals to remove possible contaminants.

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