Discovery of carbon dating
The trend of the samples will provide a ball park estimate of the actual date of deposition.The trade-off between radiocarbon dating and other techniques is that we exchange precision for a wider geographical and temporal range.Changes in the Earth’s climate can affect the carbon flows between these reservoirs and the atmosphere, leading to changes in the atmosphere’s carbon 14 fraction.Finally, although radiocarbon dating is the most common and widely used chronometric technique in archaeology today, it is not unfailing. Whenever possible multiple samples should be collected and dated from associated sections.But now archaeologists studying, say, the development of agriculture across the continents are able to determine how different societies stacked up against one another throughout the millennia.
In addition, there are substantial reservoirs of carbon in organic matter, the ocean, ocean sediments, and sedimentary rock.
The dating method is based on the fact that carbon is found in various forms, including the main stable isotope (carbon 12) and an unstable isotope (carbon 14).
Through photosynthesis, plants absorb both forms from carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Radio carbon dating determines the age of ancient objects by means of measuring the amount of carbon-14 there is left in an object.
A man called Willard F Libby pioneered it at the University of Chicago in the 50's. This is now the most widely used method of age estimation in the field of archaeology.