Carbon dating archeology

11 Jan

Radiocarbon dating enable archaeologists to provide proof of authenticity to the excavated artifacts’ period of usage and thus by collaborating with the efforts with historians and anthropologists, the unwritten history can be precisely explained.Significance Desmond Clark (1979) opinions that if radio carbon dating technique were not discovered, (Clark, 1979:7). Exploratory analysis of the international radiocarbon cross- calibration data: consensus values and interlaboratory error. According to Higham (1999) C14 method can be described as ‘the radio carbon revolution’ which has significantly impacted our understanding about evolution and also cultural emergence of human species. Carbon-14 isotope will undergo decay at an exponential rate to form the stable nitrogen-14. The following equation is used to determine the carbon-14 decay. Thus by comparing the relative quantity of carbon -12 and carbon -14 in an organic matter excavated scientists can predict the age of the object (R. Where N is the current amount, N_o is the original amount, lambda is the proportionality constant for the growth rate (which is negative for decay), and t is the amount of time that has passed. Source: (Brain, 2014) The half-life of carbon-14 is 5730 years.

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Radiocarbon dating technique is primarily based on the radioactive decay of Carbon-14 isotope.

Developed by a team of researchers under the leadership of Dr.

Taylor (1987) suggests C-14 technique as one of the most significant discoveries of 20thcentury that touches the realms of many disciplines including archaeology.

Prior to the development of radiocarbon dating it was difficult to determine the age of the artifacts unless it was accompanied with some chronologically specific things like a coin.

This implies that it takes 5730 years for half of the 14C atoms in the organic matter to get decayed.