Radiocarbon dating the iceman

Inscriptions, distinctive markings, and historical documents can all offer clues to an artifact’s age.

And if the artifact is organic, like wood or bone, researchers can turn to a method called radiocarbon dating.

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.The trade-off between radiocarbon dating and other techniques is that we exchange precision for a wider geographical and temporal range.That is the true benefit of radiocarbon dating, that it can be employed anywhere in the world, and does have about a 60,000 year range.The archaeologist Colin Renfrew (1973) called it the development of this dating method 'the radiocarbon revolution' in describing its great impact upon the human sciences.The radiocarbon method was developed by a team of scientists led by the late Professor Willard F.

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