Radioactive dating archeology

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Tree-ring dates are precise to a single year, and dendro-samples can also be radiocarbon dated, allowing 14C measurements to be correlated with calendar dates.

When the organism dies, the carbon 14 (C14) atoms disintegrate at a known rate, with a half-life of 5,700 years.He calculated that it took 5,568 years for half of the 14C in dead organic matter to decay, known as the ‘half-life’.By measuring the remaining 14C in a sample of excavated material, a calendar date could therefore be ascribed to it.Among the artifacts from the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute that Willard Libby tested during the radiocarbon dating development process was this wood from an ancient Egyptian coffin.The artifact, more than 2,000 years old, dates to the Egyptian Ptolemaic period.

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