Errors carbon dating
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.
The application of Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) for radiocarbon dating in the late 1970s was also a major achievement.
Radiocarbon dating is especially good for determining the age of sites occupied within the last 26,000 years or so (but has the potential for sites over 50,000), can be used on carbon-based materials (organic or inorganic), and can be accurate to within ±30-50 years.
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.
a reply to: Operation Black Rose I also have to think lab techniques have become better since the 1960's and 70's because of issues like this.
The science on radiocarbon dating is good, execution is the weak link.
However, there are a number of other factors that can affect the amount of carbon present in a sample and how that information is interpreted by archaeologists.
Regardless of the particular 14C technique used, the value of this tool for archaeology has clearly been appreciated.
originally posted by: inert a reply to: Operation Black Rose I also have to think lab techniques have become better since the 1960's and 70's because of issues like this.
I don't know if I really trust anything carbon dated or any of that crap to be honest.
This whole blessed thing is nothing but 13th-century alchemy, and it all depends upon which funny paper you read." (Anthropological Journal of Canada 1981) (working of notes I made, will go back to read entire articles and papers) carbon dating is not the only dating method used, it's just the most popular/easy to understand i think there are over a dozen dating methods, here straight from good old wikipedia Radiocarbon dating - for dating organic materials Dendrochronology - for dating trees, and objects made from wood, but also very important for calibrating radiocarbon dates Thermoluminescence dating - for dating inorganic material including ceramics Optically stimulated luminescence or optical dating for archaeological applications Potassium–argon dating - for dating fossilized hominid remains there are many more of course.
And those examples are the typical ones always brought up, it feels like saying "cars are never safe because one of them broke for no reason 22 years ago" The method is not flawless, true, but carbon dating, combined with other methods gives us a very good idea of how old stuff is.
This process of decay occurs at a regular rate and can be measured.