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Posted by / 06-Oct-2017 07:06

How old can radiocarbon dating

It is also standard to coat fossils during their extraction and transport.

Acetone is sometimes used while extracting fossils, because it dissolves dirt.

In short, unless you have evidence to the contrary, you should assume that most of the carbon in a fossil is from contamination, and is not originally part of the fossil. The nuclear tests of the 1950's created a lot of C14.

Also, humans are now burning large amounts of "fossil fuel".

Historians don't have "right answers" for really old things.

However, carbon dating has done well on young material like the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Minoan ruins, and acacia wood from the tomb of the pharoah Zoser.

See below for details about the 45,000 annual varves in Lake Suigetsu. For example, polar bears that eat seals aren't getting their carbon from an atmospheric source.

Pollen found in the Greenland icecap has been carbon dated, and also dated by counting ice layers. Trees grow a thick ring in a good year, and grow a thin ring in a bad year.

It is produced in the upper atmosphere by radiation from the sun.

(Specifically, neutrons hit nitrogen-14 atoms and transmute them to carbon.) Land plants, such as trees, get their carbon from carbon dioxide in the air. The same is true of any creature that gets its carbon by eating such plants. Suppose such a creature dies, and the body is preserved.

Old samples contain much less C14, so the measured date of older samples is strongly affected by even small amounts of contamination.

The third kind are dates which were measured before the 1970's.

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When this was first done, it turned out that carbon dating had been giving too-young dates for early civilizations.