Absolute dating archaeology

28-Feb-2018 01:01

The unstable and radioactive carbon 14, called radiocarbon, is a naturally occurring isotope of the element carbon.When a living thing dies, it stops interacting with the biosphere, and the carbon 14 in it remains unaffected by the biosphere but will naturally undergo decay.Contaminants must not be introduced to the samples during collection and storing.Hydrocarbons, glue, biocides, polyethylene glycol, or polyvinylacetate must not come in contact with samples for radiocarbon dating.Studying the material remains of past human life and activities may not seem important or exciting to the average Joe unlike the biological sciences.But archaeology’s aim to understand mankind is a noble endeavor that goes beyond uncovering buried treasures, gathering information, and dating events.Decay of carbon 14 takes thousands of years, and it is this wonder of nature that forms the basis of radiocarbon dating and made this carbon 14 analysis a powerful tool in revealing the past.The process of radiocarbon dating starts with the analysis of the carbon 14 left in a sample.

Glass containers can be used when storing radiocarbon dating samples, but they are susceptible to breakage and can be impractical when dealing with large samples.The proportion of carbon 14 in the sample examined provides an indication of the time elapsed since death of the sample’s source.Radiocarbon dating results are reported in uncalibrated years BP (Before Present), where BP is defined as AD 1950.Great care must be exercised when linking an event with the context and the context with the sample to be processed by radiocarbon dating.An archaeologist must also make sure that only the useful series of samples are collected and processed for carbon dating and not every organic material found in the excavation site.

Glass containers can be used when storing radiocarbon dating samples, but they are susceptible to breakage and can be impractical when dealing with large samples.The proportion of carbon 14 in the sample examined provides an indication of the time elapsed since death of the sample’s source.Radiocarbon dating results are reported in uncalibrated years BP (Before Present), where BP is defined as AD 1950.Great care must be exercised when linking an event with the context and the context with the sample to be processed by radiocarbon dating.An archaeologist must also make sure that only the useful series of samples are collected and processed for carbon dating and not every organic material found in the excavation site.The sample-context relationship is not always straightforward.