Start Problems dating artefacts

Problems dating artefacts

There are two techniques for dating in archaeological sites: relative and absolute dating.

In recognition of this problem archaeologists have developed regional reservoir correction rates based on ocean bottom topography, water temperature, coastline shape and paired samples of terrestrial and marine objects found together in an archaeological feature such as a hearth.

The Mayan calendar used 3114 BC as their reference.

More recently is the radiocarbon date of 1950 AD or before present, BP.

The extra neutrons in Carbon-14’s case make it radioactive (thus the term, radiocarbon).

Radiocarbon is produced in the upper atmosphere after Nitrogen-14 isotopes have been impacted by cosmic radiation.

Therefore, radiocarbon dates need to be calibrated with other dating techniques to ensure accuracy.

Plants are not the only organism that can process Carbon-14 from the air.

In fact, levels of Carbon-14 have varied in the atmosphere through time.