Dating archaeological deposits
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.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.
Hydrocarbons, glue, biocides, polyethylene glycol, or polyvinylacetate must not come in contact with samples for radiocarbon dating.
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.
Radiocarbon dating has been around for more than 50 years and has revolutionized archaeology.
Carbon 14 dating remains to be a powerful, dependable, and widely applicable technique that is invaluable to archaeologists and other scientists.